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On Your Marks. Somerset. Go

AS Yellows crank up their preparations for the new pitching In Southern League Premier Division South season, manager Leigh Robinson has urged supporters not to expect too much too soon.

Leigh is delighted with the way his new-look squad - boosted this week by the return of star striker Joe Parker - is shaping up, and excited to be getting back to action on Friday night, when Tivvy visit Jewson Western League Division 1 Wells City.

The match and the rest of Tivvy's pre-season games offer him the perfect opportunity to bed in his raft of exciting new signings and tinker with playing styles so that Yellows can be in good shape for the league kick-off in August. He is, quite naturally, prioritising that over simply winning matches.

Leigh said: "As always, everyone is looking forward to getting started and back into match action. I'm a firm believer that pre-season results count for absolutely nothing and this won't be a focus for us in the next few weeks.

"During my time in football, I've seen teams have an amazing pre-season and start the league season poorly and vice versa. In fact, at one of my previous clubs, we were terrible in pre-season, didn't look like a team at all...then, three months later, we're in the FA Cup first round.

"So you can never judge a team until there is something 'on it', I always say.

"For us, we have quite a new squad who need to gel and develop relationships on the pitch. This means that there will be hefty amount of experimentation during pre-season as we search for the right formula.

"Also, as a management team, we have to step back from results and ensure that the team is executing what we are asking of them. This comes first."

Leigh and assistant Ben Gerring did not arrive at Ladysmead last season until the beginning of November, and spent the rest of the campaign fighting fires. This time round, it is all very different.

He said: "Ben and I didn't get a pre-season with the team last season and that nice length of time to implement ideas, so we're keen to make sure we maximise this in the next month or so.

"Hopefully fans will enjoy what they see in terms of the style, the new signings, and integration of some of the young players from the Under-18s too, as we look to give them a chance to show what they can do."

Friday night's match against Wells at Rowdens Road kicks off at 7.30pm.

Ticket prices are £4 adult and £2 concession.

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