IVES BOSS READY FOR THE NEW SEASON
Andrew Dunn talks to St Ives Manager, Ricky Marheineke as he looks ahead to the 2022/23 season.
It was back on 23 April that St Ives last played a competitive fixture when the curtain came down on the 2021/22 season with a 1-1 draw against Tamworth. But tomorrow, it all starts again as the Ives travel to Bromsgrove Sporting to begin another PitchingIn Southern League Premier Division Central campaign.
Ives manager, Ricky Marheineke has been busy bringing in several new faces during a pre-season campaign that has seen his side win four of the nine matches played. “I think it’s been an excellent pre-season” said Marheineke. “Normally you get a few ups and downs with injuries and fitness levels, but in all honesty, it has been relatively smooth both in performances and how we have managed minutes for all the players involved”.
Despite several new players having been added to the squad, Marheineke was delighted to have kept the spine of the squad from last season. “We’ve kept the likes of Michael Richens, Nabil Shariff, Dylan Williams, Ethan Johnson and a few others and they know what we expect from them and how we want to play. I also think we have recruited well. We looked at it and decided that as a priority we needed to increase our defensive options. So, it’s great to have got the likes of Johnny Herd, Jordan Williams, Owen Sherriff, and Julien Saka. They will bring experience as well as competition for places”.
It’s not just defensive options where Marheineke has strengthened. The Ives boss was also pleased to strengthen in other areas of the pitch too. He added “I was delighted that striker Jonathan Edwards agreed to sign. I’ve known him for a couple of years, and he had an exceptional record at Biggleswade and Royston as well as a decent return for FC Romania. He knows where the back of the net is, and I hope he will excite our supporters. I was also really pleased to sign both Greg Kaziboni and Enoch Andoh. They are both really good players, know this level well and on their day can be a real handful for the opposition. But we have a good squad, and we will be looking to continue with the decent form we had at the end of last season”.
Marheineke acknowledges that the game at Bromsgrove will be tough. “They had a difficult season last year and will be looking to get off to a positive start. They always get decent crowds and tomorrow will be no exception and they will want to perform for their supporters. You can never read too much into the opening round of matches, but we will go there with a fully fit squad and the lads know what is expected of them”.
The Ives finished 14th last season, so does Marheineke think they can match that or go better? “We’ve set ourselves short term targets of how many points we would like to have at each stage of the season. We also know that some so-called experts have predicted we will struggle so the lads will see that as perfect motivation to prove people wrong. But we are looking forward to the season and hope that it will be a successful campaign”.
The opponents for the Ives tomorrow have had a reasonable pre-season having won three of their six matches. They finished off their preparations with a 1-0 win over Bedworth at the Victoria Ground last Saturday. Like the Ives, they have strengthened during the summer, and one player to watch will be new signing Dan Sweeney. The striker arrives from neighbours Redditch United where he scored 13 league goals last season. The striking options for the Rouslers have also been boosted with Andre Brown signing from Hednesford.
For any supporters heading to the game tomorrow, all the matchday information is below. A full report from the Victoria Ground will be available on the club website over the weekend.
GOING TO THE GAME:
Bromsgrove Sporting FC
The Victoria Ground
Senior (Over 65): £9.00
3-11’s: £1.00 (with an adult)
Payment is at the turnstile by cash or credit/debit card
23/11/21: St Ives Town 2 Bromsgrove Sporting 2
11/12/21: Bromsgrove Sporting 1 St Ives Town 0