MALVERN Town boss Les Jones has urged his talented squad to push themselves to the limit during a busy week of pre-season games.
Following a 4-0 victory over Cadbury Athletic on Saturday, the Hillsiders have won all three of their opening friendlies and will welcome Westfields and Bradford Town to the HDAnywhere Community Stadium on Thursday and Saturday respectively.
With a number of players still awaiting to return to action, Jones told the Observer having a quick run of games will be a good way to improve fitness levels while giving new players much-needed game time.
“I’m really delighted with our pre-season form at the moment as we are playing teams from the level above or equal to us and we’re getting the wins,” he said.
“However, we’ve got a quick run of games and that’s going to stretch the squad as we’ve got some first team players and under-21s coming back and they need to get their fitness levels back up.
“It’s important for us to have a schedule like this as it will improve the fitness levels of all the players and sharpen the squad up so that we hit the ground running for our FA Cup tie on August 6.
“We’re on a good run at this moment in time and it appears we’re looking very strong but the league is going to be very competitive so we’re very much looking to equal or improve last season’s league position.”
With Ben Hayes, who has officially joined Bishop’s Cleeve, the only player departing and Paul Edwards, Nathan Hughes, Nathan Hayward and Sean Smith coming into the ranks, Jones said the additions bring much-needed competition into the side.
“I have been very impressed with all the signings I have brought in but more importantly I have managed to secure practically all of last season’s squad,” he said.
“We was looking to strengthen our midfield and attacking options as the squad needed some competition for places.
“All the signings fit into our profile as they’re young, local and capable of playing at a higher level of football.
“We hope the new players can better themselves with us over the coming seasons.”
Malvern are due to Bishop’s Cleeve tonight (Tuesday) away from home.