The Ryman Football League
Published 18th August 2012
....season in the Ryman League Division One South, according to manager Paul Faili.
The Anvils lost their first eight games straight of their debut campaign in Division One South last season, but Faili is determined not to see the same thing happen to his newly-promoted Three Bridges team.
"We changed the whole policy of pre-season this year. We went for a lot of games against teams of different levels to get the team match-fit quicker," the manager said. "Recognising Crawley Down's start to last season I thought that while they were probably fit, maybe some more games might have helped to prepare them better. We have to hit the ground running."
After winning the Sussex County League last season, Bridges start their debut Ryman campaign today as they host Sittingbourne at Jubilee Field.
And after playing two Ryman Premier Division sides recently, Hastings United in a friendly and Whitehawk in a 4-1 loss in the Roy Hayden Memorial Trophy, Faili is hoping Division One South opponents will be a little easier.
"A lot of my players have played Ryman and Ryman Premier," Faili explained. "After playing Whitehawk and Hastings you can see their passing was more accurate and they are running with the ball better.
"We were taught a lesson last Saturday and we were taught a lesson on Tuesday night against those two sides."
Faili has made a few additions to his side over the summer, most noticeably up front with former Redhill and Chipstead striker Marcus Elliott and former Arsenal trainee Royce Greenidge.
"Options. Every manager in the world wants options. Different players with different strengths," Faili said of his new strikeforce. "Marcus Elliott doesn't mind a bit of physical work; his work ethic is phenomenal and if you then think of Joel O'Hara's work ethic and Dean Carden's work ethic, that is going to be important for us.
"Having three players like that alone brings the rest of the team up."
Faili expects right-back Carden to miss the start of the season after sustaining a fractured skull in an attack outside a bar last week, but the manager is delighted that influential captain Lee Carney looks set to return from a broken leg sooner than thought.
"Talk about super human!" Faili exclaimed. "He has been given the all clear and Lee has now started light training.
"I don't want to rush him back, I might see if he can get some time at Haywards Heath to start with."