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Canterbury City's new-look squad in good spirits ahead of Southern Counties East League season

It’s been all-change for Canterbury City over the summer but they look to be peaking at the right time.

The City side head into their Southern Counties East Premier Division season this Saturday after completing their pre-season campaign with a big win over Isthmian League side Whitstable Town.

Canterbury manager Chris Woollcott. Picture: Alan Langley (49728312)
Canterbury manager Chris Woollcott. Picture: Alan Langley (49728312)

City were 4-2 winners and boss Chris Woollcott said: “It was a good performance and our best of pre-season by a long way.

“It has been a disruptive pre-season for everyone, we haven’t had a full squad yet and we had three subs who were youth team players because we were missing so many.

“We have found injuries a problem this pre-season which was to be expected after so long out, and we have had to deal with isolation periods, but it all came together quite nicely on Saturday.

“It was good to get some goals. I think we have defended quite well throughout pre-season so I am pleased with that side but it was nice to see the other side as well (with the goals). We controlled possession and created some good chances to score.”

Centre-back Teddy Nelson popped up with a couple which pleased the manager, who said: “I had done about 40 games and he hadn’t scored a single goal but he’s popped up with three in pre-season so he is doing well! He is a massive threat from set-pieces. That was part of the game he wanted to improve on and it looks like he is on the right track.”

One of the goals came from Jordan Casey’s long throws. He can certainly hurl them in and that will be a threat for City this season having brought the player back to the club.

Nelson and captain Danny Keyte are two of only a handful of survivors from last season’s squad as Woollcott attempts to make them more competitive.

They start with a home game against Tower Hamlets - a fixture that ended 5-5 in what turned out to be the last game of the 2020/21 season. Tightening that defence has been a key objective.

“We would like to think we can defend better now,” said Woollcott. “We have looked more solid defensively.

“We lost 1-0 to Hythe to a worldy free-kick and we lost 1-0 to Faversham from a corner that went straight in. If they don’t go in it’s two clean sheets against two good sides in the division above.

“I have been very pleased with the defensive side. We looked how I wanted us to look last Saturday. It was a nice way to finish pre-season.”

It’s a young team this term, senior players Liam Quinn and the manager’s brother Adam Woollcott have departed leaving room for youth. Woollcott has promoted under-23 player Jack Longland to the first team and utilised that squad quite in pre-season.

He added: “We had a bit of work to do but we’re really happy with the lads we’ve brought in.

“One of the big things we went for in terms of recruitment was character and personality and they have gelled well, I am a big believer in having a really good dressing room.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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