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Jim and Danny Ward's Sittingbourne prepare for pre-season opener against academy side on Saturday

Jim Ward
Jim Ward

Sittingbourne step up their preparations for the new season with their first pre-season match this weekend.

And the game will give joint managers Jim and Danny Ward a glimpse at the quality they have now and in the future.

Lining up against Sittingbourne at the Community College will be the club’s academy team.

Jim Ward (pictured) said: "We’ve done a lot of hard work recently, a lot of road running and we’ll be looking to get the footballs out a bit this week ahead of Saturday’s game.

"I plan to play two teams, with everyone getting 45 minutes. We had 27 players train on Saturday and that’s with people missing and so we have got to be thinning that out.

"I want a squad of 18 to work with, that’s the most I’m looking for and with no reserve side I will be using the academy to bolster the squad.

"There are players in the academy who are good enough and we had a good meeting with them last week. It was all positive and they are all ready for the challenge."

Entrance to Saturday’s match (12pm KO) is free with fans being able to meet the players and the new management team.

"Everyone is welcome," said Ward. "We’re looking forward to it and occasions like that are what it’s all about."

The first team squad is gradually being assembled with three players, Luke Girt, Joe Harvey and Hicham Akhazzan, all signing contracts this week. More are expected to follow before the weekend.

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