Curzon Ashton v NFU (NLN 17-18)

Curzon Ashton v North Ferriby United
Vanarama National League North
Saturday 5 August  2017
Tameside Stadium
 Kick-off 3.00pm

Ferriby begin their  Vanarama national League North campaign with a visit to Tameside to play Curzon Ashton.

It is always difficult to predict the early games of a new season as every club will have made changes to their playing staff over the close season. Ferriby have 13 new faces in their squad plus Russell Fry has returned following a year out.

A number of Ferriby’s pre-season games were played by the reserves and triallists so it is not surprising that results were mixed. This makes it difficult to judge performances as a a predictor for the league games.

As manager Steve Houshame repeatedy said,
“These games are all about fitness and individual performances.”

However, there is a quiet confidence at the club that The Villagers can do well in what is sure to be a highly competitive league.  Some five or six clubs have turned full-time as they chase promotion. With only two promotion spots available, at least three of them will be mightily disappointed at the end of the season.

There will now be seven play-off places available under a new system and Ferriby will certainly be hoping to break in to that group.

Ferriby’s major weakness last season was scoring goals but that problem has, hopefully been resolved for this season. Joel Ambalu and Alberto Seidi look to have the pace that will unsettle defenders at this level. That should help to create opportunities for themselves and the palyers around them.

The other key signing could be goalkeeper Ross Durrant who has generally been in good form in the games in which he has played. He has experience at this level and a number of Boston United fans believe it was his performances that kept The Pilgrims up last season.

It is a very young squad overall but  with some highly experienced players.

Housham says,
“We’re raring to go now that pre-season has finished. We’ve had to cram a lot into that short time due to the season starting early.

“I want to thank the fans for being patient on signings. We’re really happy with the squad and that’s not something I could have said just two months ago. We have cover for every position. I’ve brought in lots of young hungry players  but there’s a lot more experienced ones, too, this season.
“We know that there’s big budgets in the league but we are confident that our players’ hunger and desire to play for this club will help us upset the odds.

“We’ve got players on contract who could still make it in the professional game and this is their chance to prove it. Whilst we wouldn’t like to lose good players, we have to be realistic and, perhaps, become a club that develops and then sells-on players.

“Me and Darryn are now very much focused in the Curzon game. We want to start the season with a win.”

Ferriby have shown over recent years that having a big budget is not necessarily the key to success. Housham is right that hunger and desire can bring on-field rewards.

Possible Ferriby squad: Ross Durrant, Lewis Exall, Steve Brogan,  Mark Gray, Jordan Cooke, Kojo Kyeu, Jake Skelton, Jake Picton, Ross Barrows, Russell Fry, Danny Emerton, Simon Russell, Mitch Langton, Callum Rzonca Bobby Johnson, Kyle Dixon, Eddie Rogerson,  Jack Barlow, Joel Ambalu, Curtis Bateson Alberto Seidi, Joe Pugh, Leigh Hutchinson


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