Chappell sees Saints squad starting to take shape

Lee Chappell

Lee Chappell - Credit: Archant

Lee Chappell is excited to get pre-season underway and believes St Albans City’s squad is starting to take shape.

The Saints managed to retain the core of last season’s 13th-placed finished squad and added a trio of new faces: defender Jack Lampe, attacking midfielder Lewis Hilliard and front man Billy Medlock.

“I’ve played against Lewis – he’s brilliant. I don’t think he knows what footed he is, which is great because he’s unpredictable. I think he’ll fit in perfectly,” said Chappell.

“I spoke with Billy Medlock a lot on Thursday. He plays in the number 10 role and with [David Keenleyside] departing, it’s an ideal replacement.”

Chappell, the Saints’ leading appearance maker over the last two seasons with 108 games, was one of the first to sign for the Saints this summer, much to the relief of everyone involved with the club.

“I spoke with Jimmy [Gray, joint manager] and I had a call with one or two other clubs just to gauge what was happening with player movements,” explained Chappell.

“I’m settled here. I don’t like to move ship a lot – I was at Wealdstone for a long time and I plan to be at St Albans for the long term, too.

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“I spoke to [Sam Corcoran] and [Joe Welch] early on and I think we were all waiting for one of us to sign. I think I did an hour after Welchy.”

Last season, Chappell deputised for James Comley as captain when the latter was serving a suspension, and held on to the armband when the midfielder returned. He’s spoken to the managers and believes it is his to lose for the upcoming campaign.

“I’m going to be [vocal] whether I’m captain or not,” he said. “It’s a bit of extra pressure, which makes me play better.”

As for getting a better output on the pitch, Chappell seems to have lost his never-ending battle with Gray to move him to left midfield, despite guaranteeing him a sizeable goal return.

“I’ve guaranteed him 10 goals if he moves me to left midfield but I don’t think it’s going to happen,” he said.