Preview: Poole Town

Poole Town FC

Poole Town FC - Credit: Archant

ST ALBANS CITY begin their Calor Southern League season this Saturday on the south coast against Poole Town.

The Premier Division new boys were run-away winners in Division One South & West last season, amassing 98 points – 14 more than their closest rivals – and recording a staggering goal difference of +46.

A quick look at Poole’s pre-season results shows right winger Jonathan Davies will be one to watch having scored four goals, including a hat-trick against Wimbourne Town.

The 23-year-old scored nine goals for AFC Totton has year and also had a stint playing for Salisbury in the Conference South.

Striker Michael Charles was a fan favourite at Tatnam Farm last year, scoring 19 goals in the promotion-winning campaign. Charles has spent the summer playing in Australia but, according to the Poole Town website, is expected to return for the season.

Just behind Charles in the scoring stakes was Steve Devlin. The midfielder netted 14 times last term and heads into the new season having scored once in pre-season.

Poole’s defence is nothing to scoff at either. Last season, The Dolphins conceded just 36 goals. The record starts and ends with Nick Hutchings who kept 17 clean sheets in the 2012/13 season, good enough to earn him the Non-League Paper Goalkeeper of the Year award.

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While Saints head into the season with two relatively inexperienced managers, Poole have had the same man at the helm since 2004.

Tom Killick steered Poole to promotion in his first season, then led the club to a consecutive three Wessex league titles a few years later.

Play off heartache in the 2011/12 was only forgotten last season as The Dolphins were promoted as champions. They completed the double after beating neighbours Wimborne in the Dorset Senior Cup to complete a memorable double for the club.