Bishop's Stortford manager Steve Smith looking to put 'horrendous' pre-season behind him as Blues travel to Bognor Regis Town in Isthmian League, Premier Division
Steve Smith is hoping Bishop's Stortford can put a "horrendous" pre-season behind them when they start their 2021-22 Pitching In Isthmian League, Premier Division campaign at Bognor Regis Town on Saturday (August 14).
The Blues' manager has had to contend with Covid absences and mounting injuries in the build-up to the new season.
Sam Robbins, Ben Marlow, Aaron Greene (all knee), Archie Jones (foot) and James Baker (calf) are among players sidelined or battling to return to fitness.
But Stortford did win three of their six friendlies – including beating Coggeshall Town 2-1 at home last Friday night – and the boss is still confident of making a positive start against the Rocks.
"We've had injuries, we've had Covid and on Friday night we only had 13 players – and that included two academy players," said Smith.
"It's not been ideal, I'm not going to lie, but we should have a few back this week. Once we get everyone fit I'm confident we'll be in for a good season.
"It's going to be difficult [at Bognor] but we'll go there in a positive frame of mind and we'll have had another two training sessions by then.
"We did well on Friday night and the boys will be jumping on Saturday as it's always exciting playing that first league game of the season.
"Hopefully this season will be able to continue all the way through and it's going to be good playing again."
Smith has bolstered his squad ahead of the Bognor trip by signing former Charlton Athletic youngster Archie Edwards.
The left-back was most recently at Eastbourne, having also had spells with Bognor and Hornchurch, and is an ex-England youth international.