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Ramsgate head coach Lloyd Blackman believes his side are well prepared for the start of the Bostik South East season

By Mark Stokes

Ramsgate open their Bostik South East campaign at VCD on Saturday and head coach Lloyd Blackman is confident they can hit the ground running.

Missing several regulars, the Rams wound up their pre-season programme with Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Bostik Premier Margate and Blackman believes everything is coming together nicely.

Charlie Dickens put the Rams ahead at Hartsdown four minutes before half-time but within two minutes Frannie Collin had levelled.

Ramsgate (red) defend against Margate in the pre-season friendly at Hartsdown Road Picture: Chris Davey
Ramsgate (red) defend against Margate in the pre-season friendly at Hartsdown Road Picture: Chris Davey

Blackman said: “The performance was good and I don’t think anyone could have argued if we’d have won.

“The players implemented everything that we have been asking them to do for the last six weeks and we are now all looking forward to the season.

“Results in pre-season can give a false indication but as a group we’ve tried to approach every game with a league mentality because you can’t just turn it off and on like a tap.”

Jacob Mensah, Sam Lawford, Harry Stannard and Aaron Millbank were among those to impress and Blackman admits those who stepped in to fill gaps against Gate have given him food for thought.

Rams finished 16th in Bostik South last season and while Blackman is reluctant to set team targets he has challenged each of the players to improve their game.

He added: "I'm not really setting a target for the whole season but we do have short term targets.

"We try to approach each game individually and do the best we can, there will be lots of different scenarios and situations that present themselves during the season and it's about making sure we prepare the players to deal with them all.

"First and foremost we want the boys to go out and express themselves, but we also want to see them continue to develop. Hopefully they will have gained from the experience they had last season."

Ramsgate's one absentee for the VCD game is skipper Liam Dickson, who continues to be hampered by a groin issue. Defender Luke Wheatley, who is club captain, will lead the side.

Rams travel to Bromley to play Cray in the Kent Senior Cup first round on Wednesday.

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