CAMELFORD Football Club manager, Reg Hambly, believes that ‘a top-ten finish is possible’ as he prepares for his 27th season in charge at Trefrew Park.
The Camels finished 14th in the South West Peninsula League Premier Division last term, and with his six Cornwall under 18s stars from last season staying on, Hambly hopes that better availability will see them push towards the top half and have an extended run in one of the three cup competitions.
Hambly said: “If everyone is available regularly we have enough good players to be in the top ten.
“However, last year we struggled to get consistent sides out and we let in a lot of goals against some of the top clubs.
“But saying that, with the resources we have, our first aim at the start of the year is just to stay up.
“However, we’ve got a team with a lot of good exciting players and I was pleased with how we progressed last year so it’d be silly not to want to carry on. We want to try and improve on that again if we can and also have a good run in one of the cup competitions.”
As often is the case every summer at Trefrew Park, changes to the squad have been kept to a minimum.
No players have left, while three youngsters have been brought in, including centre-back Harry Hambly from Wadebridge Town, forward Alex Mills from Callington Town and St Blazey full-back Zak Griffiths.
Hambly also wants to bring in a couple of older heads to compliment them, but is happy to play the waiting game with their league opener against Launceston on Wednesday, August 16 (7.45pm ko), less than two weeks away.
Hambly said: “The main aim over the summer was to keep the existing squad together and we’ve managed to do that.
“We’ve also added three exciting new players and I’m also looking to bring in a couple players with more experience, but I’m happy to wait.
“A lot of players at some of the bigger clubs won’t be happy if they’re not in the starting eleven and I’m hopeful that we can get a couple to come to us.
“I’m also delighted that all of the Cornwall youngsters from last year have agreed to stay on as a lot of them had offers from some of the league’s top clubs. But they learnt a lot last year and we’ve given them the confidence to go out there and perform at this level.
“It’s great to be able to put together a young side which plays good, attractive football and the camaraderie between the players is excellent.”
Camelford have been back in pre-season training since the beginning of July and have had mixed results, including beating Carharrack and losing 6-2 at home to Liskeard last Thursday night.
Hambly added: “We’ve been back for three or four weeks and training has been good. At the beginning we worked on the fitness but the great thing about keeping the nucleus of the side together is that we already know the different formations we want to play.
“It’s about fine-tuning them so everyone knows their roles and can be adaptable when we change from a 4-3-3 to either a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2. Everyone in the squad has the ability but it’s now up to them to go out there and perform and keep themselves in the team.”
The visit of Launceston in their opening game should attract a decent sized crowd, and Hambly admits that he couldn’t have asked for more from the fixture computer.
Hambly said: “Having Launceston at home in a midweek fixture is a really attractive opening day game for us. We’re hoping that we can get a good crowd in and put on a good performance.
“Launceston have made some decent signings over the summer and we know it’ll be a tough game.
“Most of the clashes we’ve had with them recently have been tight but it’s important we start the season on a high and try to attract as many supporters back as possible.”
Whilst it’s been another relatively quiet summer on the playing front at Trefrew Park, plenty of work has been going on behind the scenes.
The two dugouts have been rebuilt by local builder Kevin Honey to meet FA standards, while further work has been carried out on the pitch to try and make sure that last season’s postponements become a thing of the past.
On and off the pitch, things are looking good for Camelford. Now it’s up to the players to go out there and prove it.