Otters all set for start of pre-season training


- Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary’s footballers report back for pre-season training next Wednesday (July 3) and Otters boss Dave Fairweather is looking forward to welcoming his players back.

The Otters are preparing for life in the new Devon Step Seven League (South & West). They will come up against the likes of Tavistock and Buckland Athletic Reserve teams - both are the second teams of Western League clubs, but will also meet many teams from last season's South Devon League.

It is certainly a case of sailing the good ship Ottery into unchartered waters!

Fairweather says: "It's all new and with anything new you can view it with a big slice of trepidation and concern or with excitement, and positivity and my way of thinking is certainly the latter.

"A really refreshing thing for me is that each week we will be meeting new opposition.

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"Yes, the level is higher, but that's all part of football progress and some time ago at Washbrook Meadow we set off on a journey which we hoped would lead us to a higher level of the game and here we are - possibly slightly ahead of schedule, but it is a challenge everyone involved with us should relish."

For the challenges ahead Fairweather continues to look for new players.

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He says: "It is important that players who come to us will slot into our way of working and doing things. Last year we were only a couple of players shy of being the 'real deal' and that would certainly have got us into the silverware-winning stakes.

"We have plenty of ability already in the team and if we can add a couple of additional players of quality then I see no reason why we cannot go into the new league and look, with confidence, to make an impression."

Part of the 'new-look' Ottery next season are the Development Squad which will play in Division Eight of the Devon & Exeter League. It's not an ideal scenario given the obvious 'gap' that now stands between the Ottery first team in Step Seven and the Development team playing in the lowest division of the local league.

Ever the optimist, Fairweather is not undaunted.

He says: "What a great opportunity for our younger players to both learn their trade and, hopefully, do well in the coming season.

"We will all be training together and I am a great advocate of 'if you are good enough then you'll play at the level that suits your ability'. Ideally we will have young and hungry players in the Development squad who will be itching for a chance at playing in the first team - and they will get their chance."

Any player interested in joining Ottery is asked, in the first instance, to give Dave [Fairweather] a call on 07791 774706.

Ottery St Mary ladies are also back in pre-season mode next week with their get-together being the day after the men, Thursday, July 4, and old and new players will be made very welcome at Washbrook Meadow.

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