Ottery St Mary players set to train before the big England World Cup game on Saturday

Footie. Ref miscsp 43-17TI 2258. Picture: Terry Ife

Footie. Ref miscsp 43-17TI 2258. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary players are back in pre-season mode, they met for the first time in midweek and will get together on Saturday before watching the England World Cup meeting with Sweden on the big screen TV in the clubhouse.

The Otters have arranged seven warm-up games starting with a July 21 trip to Bampton.

There’s a second game seven days later at Dartmouth Reserves before an August 1 visit to Sidmouth Town Reserves. Saturday, August 11, will see the staging of the Ottery St Mary Invitational Cup, when the Otters host Tattenhoe FC.

Tattenhoe are a made up of a group of players from various clubs based in and around the Milton Keynes area and will be making a weekend of a visit to East Devon to include the game with the Otters.

There’s an August 14 home game with Lyme Regis before, two days later, they wrap up the pre-season matches with an August 16 home game against Spreyton.

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Otters boss Dave Fairweather is keen to recruit up to eight new players during the close season. He says: “I would like between six and eight players to complement what we already have. That said, player recruitment is so important in terms of going forward. I know what we want and it needs to be players, not necessarily the most gifted, but the sort who will buy into our way of thinking and working and want to grow with us.”

The Otters boss continued: “Adam Brook is a classic example. He came to us from Division Six Exwick and yet, since he has bedded down a place in the back line, we have only lost two games. It’s exactly his sort of attitude and mindset we require.”

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With regard to new players coming in, he says: “There will undoubtedly be folk moving into the area, who might like to get involved with a football club and I would urge those that are in that position to give me call and hear what we have to offer.”

Fairweather was disappointed to find the Otters once again playing in Division Three next season.

He says: “It’s disappointing that we have not been fortunate enough o climb another division for we are, rightfully, in my humble opinion, very proud of our facilities and really to harbour a burning desire to eventually play I the top division of the Devon and Exeter Football League, and, to the doubters. I can tell them, we most certainly are going to achieve our ultimate ambitions.”

Despite having to play another season in what is the fourth tier of local league football, Fairweather remains upbeat about the future and says: “Our long term goal is a higher standard of football and I am really looking for us to have a successful 2018/19 campaign to launch, what I hope, will be a terrific next couple of years.”

Prospective new players can contact Fairweather on 07791 774706

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