The wait is finally over as City start new season

Elliott Buchanan celebrated signing for St Albans City with a goal in Saturdays 4-1 win over Ware in

Elliott Buchanan celebrated signing for St Albans City with a goal in Saturdays 4-1 win over Ware in the first round of the Herts Charity Cup. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

It’s finally here. Ninety-six days after St Albans City sent the fans into rapture with a stunning play-off final win over Chesham United, the Conference South season gets underway.

This Saturday a big crowd is expected when the Saints open their season with a visit from Hayes and Yeading.

For many of the squad it will be their first taste of Conference South football. And the same goes for the managers, James Gray and Graham Golds.

Understandably, they’re itching for 3pm on Saturday to roll around and get stuck into the new campaign.

“We can’t wait,” said Gray at the conclusion of St Albans’ pre-season schedule, a 1-1 draw with League Two Stevenage FC, in which James Comley scored the coolest of goals (would you expect any less?).

“We’ve had six weeks of building up the lads’ fitness and playing games that don’t matter so we’re looking forward to it – I can’t wait.

“It’s good that we have got a home game and hopefully we’ll get a good crowd.”

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Not much has changed as far as the squad is concerned after City’s promotion-winning season. Gray and Golds have bolstered their attacking options with the signings of Loick Pires, Warren McBean and Elliott Buchanan while the return of Lee Clarke has added to a stacked midfield.

John Kyriacou’s signing could be a stroke of genius. He plays like a clone of Lee Chappell, City’s dynamic left-back, which can only end well for City. As for goalkeeper Joe Welch, he impressed against Stevenage and should make the transition into the post-Paul Bastock era seamless.

“I think we look strong and there’s competition for places all over the squad. We’re peaking at the right time and look good,” Gray told the Herts Ad.

“We’ve got three games in seven days so we’ll have a good idea of where we are, and where everyone else is, by the end of the Farnborough game.”

Following Saturday’s game, City have two away fixtures, against Staines Town on Tuesday, August 12 and Farnborough on Saturday, August 16.

Keep an eye on the new St Albans City section of the website and follow us on Twitter (@HertsAdSport) throughout the season for match reports, picture galleries, videos, interviews and all the news coming out of Clarence Park.