Colney Heath in a good place ahead of season's start says the Magpies' own big Sam
PUBLISHED: 11:40 26 July 2019
Sam Doolan believes the club have a big chance to claim the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division title - backed up by their now well-respected youth production line.
The Magpies have already seen Joe Newton pass through the ranks to join Southern Premier League Central Division side Royston Town last season, with numerous Football League clubs casting envious looks in his direction.
And Harry Shepherd is the latest to leave the Recreation Ground for a step three outfit, with Walton Casuals in the Southern Premier League South Division his destination.
But that is just scratching the surface as was displayed by their latest pre-season game, a 1-0 win over Hertford Town that brought yet more fresh faces into the fray.
And with the experience in the squad, of which Doolan is part despite his own tender years, the future can look rosy according to the centre-half.
He said: "The people we've signed and the kids we've got coming through is a joke really.
"We just want to carry on the finish to last season when we were unbeaten in the last 11 games.
"Hopefully we'll start well and see what happens.
"We want the title though obviously, that's what you play for, and if we can start well and maintain it, we'll be in with a good shout."
Saturday's success was secured in the final 10 minutes by an outrageous free-kick deep inside his own half from goalkeeper Charlie May that sailed over his opposite number's head via a bounce of the 4G pitch at Richard Hale School.
It also saw youngsters Ben Weyman and Cillian Dean get 45 minutes in the second half where they were also joined by striker Jack McShane.
The Magpies were missing a number of regulars and so manager Ryan Thompson opted to try a few new combinations and shape, placing Doolan into a back three alongside Danny May and Micky Shuttleworth.
That was something Doolan enjoyed.
"It was good," he said. "I enjoy playing in a back three, especially now we've got it set with Danny May back there and the wings back around to make it a five.
"It works really well and it suits our game with counter-attacks.
"Pre-season has started well and hopefully it will be a good season for us."