Ottery St Mary boss speaks on all things pre-season

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Now that the Ottery St Mary pre-season fixtures have been published, we caught up with Otters boss Billy Rouse to get his thoughts on all things Washbrook Meadow.

First up we asked how the pre-season sessions have gone so far.

He replied saying: “To date, pre-season has gone really well. I’ve managed to have a look at a huge number of players and have now managed to split the sessions into three squads so that we can have the first team, the reserve team and the development team all working in their own groups.

“From what I have seen so far I think the development team is going to be a huge asset to the club.

“I can see them doing a superb job of providing a platform for younger players to progress into the other senior teams and I am convinced that what we are seeing currently in terms of the make-up of the reserves and the first team that both those Ottery teams are going to be very competitive in their respective leagues.”

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He continued: “I am looking to create a fluid system between first and reserve team where there is always the opportunity for movement and, if players consistently deliver in the second team, then they most certainly will get their opportunity to show what they can do at first team level.

“Of course, as is the case at clubs at all levels, there are players who a manager has as ‘first on the team sheet’ and I am no different in that view, but the competition in training has been high and that’s only going to improve the players at the club.”

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With regard to competitive pre-season matches, the Otters boss says: “Since I joined the club my phone has been red hot with clubs looking for pre-season games.

“The pitch at Washbrook Meadows has had some work done so will be out of action until September which of course means it’s a case of ‘on the road’ throughout August with regard to any competitive pre-season match action.”

With regard to that specific team action, the Ottery chief says: “The development side will be kicking things off with an August 1 trip across to Perry Street and then, on Wednesday, August 5, both the first team and second team travel to Kentisbeare and Dawlish Villa respectively.

“I honestly cannot wait to get going now. August 5 cannot come quickly enough.

“It is all getting very exciting now. Players are putting pen to paper and I believe we are building something special.

“I hope that we can get a good following from the locals when we return as I’m sure they will enjoy the football on show.”

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