Evo-stik Northern Premier League
Marine v North Ferriby United
Saturday 18 August
Ferriby begin their 2018-19 Evo-Stik Premier Division season with a trip to Liverpool to face Marine. It will be the first time the clubs have met since April 2013, Ferriby’s final season in the Northern Premier League before promotion to the National league.
Chris Bolder and his players will be glad to see pre-season out of the way and the competitive fixtures start.
The Villagers’ pre-season results were mixed but that is to be expected as the squad is still extremely young and there are a number of new additions. Bolder and his assistant Paul Robson have had the task of whittling the squad down to some 20 players. They now have a very clear idea of the starting squad for Saturday’s game.
Bolder has this to say about pre-season,
“ We thought it was a productive game [against Tadcaster]. We had some challenges in the first-half dealing with their shape but we also saw it as good value for us because we were also able to look at some lads and give them minutes. We looking at a squad game at the minute because we are playing six games in 19 days at the beginning of the season. The likelihood of us keeping the same 11 is slim so we need these lads to be closer to fitness. It showed that we were a little bit off but it was still excellent value for us.
“We’ve been pleased with pre-season. We’ve created a good team spirit. I think all the lads have bought in to what Paul and myself are wanting to do and how we are trying to go about our football this year. We’ve been pleased with pre-season. Fitness levels look good. We’ve been able to keep a group of 20-22 lads really interested and keen at the minute and all excited to start the season and we’ll see where that takes us.”
Although Marine have a large playing surface, the ground has a close-in feel due to proximity of the neighbouring houses on both side of the pitch.
Marine have been in continuous of the NPL top division since joining in 1979-80. They have generally finished in the top-half, including a couple of title wins but they were not able to take promotion. However, the last five seasons have seen the club in relegation battles and the manager, players and fans will be feeling that is time to start being a more challenging side.
As far as the Saturday’s game is concerned, Bolder continues,
“It’s a big pitch at Marine and they always have some vociferous fans in the stand. There’s a few houses back on to ground where people hang out of the windows to watch. It will be a completely new experience for some of our lads. All the time I’ve gone to Marine, it’s been a tough game. You get lads there who are very proven at this level. They’re very tenacious and hard-working and they’ve got some talent. They have a nice catchment area where they can attract some good players.
“Their pre-season has been successful. They’re undefeated and they’ve recruited well . They’ve got an experienced manager in Tommy Lawson. They will be a tough challenge.”
Bolder also has some thoughts on the Division as whole,
“Throughout all football levels budgets usually dictate where teams finish. We know that there are a lot of teams in this league with big budgets and these allow them to attract more experienced players. They’re not always seen as better or worse players but money does allow you to buy players who have proven experience at this level or above.
“So we’re looking at Scarborough, They’ve invested heavily and brought in some big players. We know that South Shields pay well and they are going to be up there and they had a successful season last year. Then there are the existing teams such as Farsley who finished strong.
“Hyde play good football and they have recovered well after a couple of poor seasons. They have a strong community set-up and their 4G pitch provides income that can go in to the budget so we expect them to be a force this season
“All we can do is ask the players to go out and try to do what we have asked them. They are encouraged to play good and attractive football. The season will be a massive experience for them. For the first six weeks we will be playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday and that level of intensity will be new to most of them. However, they have the right attitude and are determined to show what they are capable of at this level.”
It promises to be tough season for The Villagers but the supporters were getting behind them again towards the end of last season. Fans appreciated what Bolder and Robson were, and are, trying to achieve and they saw that the players were gaining experience and improving. If the team can show that attitude then the fans will be reasonably happy.
Lewis Exall, Ben Clappison. Ben Leyland, Jack Smith, James Piercey, Jack Mail, Paul Robson, Jamie Forrester, Joe Lamplough, Dan Nichols, Danny Norton, Charlie Dunkerley, Eddie Rogerson, Kent Bannister, Alex Knox, Alex Bannister, Luke Lofts, James Nichols, Josh Walker, Jordan Harrison,