Hampton and Richmond Borough get ready for new football season


The campaign begins in August.


By Ryan Bembridge

After a rigorous series of try-outs over the summer, Hampton and Richmond Borough are close to obtaining a full squad for next season starting in August.

It remains a stressful time for joint managers Paul Barry and Darren Powell however, who are handling 50-60 players at training, a number they aim to whittle down to around 25 by the weekend.

Their newly formed squad drew 1-1 draw with Spelthorne Sports on Wednesday, yet the players will face a greater test against Harry Redknapp’s QPR next Friday.

“At the minute it’s all about getting the boys back in and fit, and trying to get them up to speed with we want to do and how we want to play,” said Barry.

11 players have so far signed up for the Ryman Isthmian League Premier Division side, and Barry is already confident they will have the right blend of youth and experience for the new campaign.

“We’re getting there, it’s just now a case of finalising everything, and making sure they fit in our budget,” he said.

Our aim is to finish as high up as we can and hopefully in a playoff position”.

The club invited 40 players to the Beveree Stadium from around 100 who applied in May, and The Beavers are still looking to recruit a squad of 16-18 senior players, supplemented by the youth and reserve teams.

They are looking to avoid a repeat of last season, where they paid dearly for having a thin squad.

Despite a promising start, with the team being top in November, they eventually had to settle for 13th place, relying on just 14 players in the latter part of the campaign, while due a fixture pile up they were also forced to play nine games in 28 days.

The team are ready to provide a second chance to players rejected by bigger clubs, with 17-year-old left-back George Wells, described by Barry as a superb talent, starting at Chelsea.

“We believe we can get the best of out of them,” Barry said.

He also said the club would consider bringing in loanees from bigger clubs such as Crystal Palace, who also play Hampton and Richmond Borough in a pre-season friendly.

One player who looks to be moving on is Tom Hickey, who has been training with League One side Brentford. 

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