Sleaford Town boss Jamie Shaw wants to continue 'building relationships' as Greens prepare for their first match this year

Pre-season kicks off this weekend...

Jamie Shaw.

Sleaford Town will play their first match of 2021 on Saturday when they travel to face Lincoln United Development in a pre-season friendly.

The Greens haven’t been in action since their United Counties League Premier Division contest at Boston Town in late December, before Covid ended the season abruptly for a second term.

But all that will change this weekend as Town begin their warm-up matches, which will also include contests against Peterborough Northern Star, Lincoln Moorlands, Swaffham and Horncastle Town.

“We’ve tried to keep it to clubs we know in the main and I’m a little bit conscious of trying to keep travelling to a minimum, particularly with us not being 100 per cent sure about when restrictions will be lifted,” said manager Jamie Shaw

“Is it going to happen? We were told July, and hopefully people can jump in cars together then.

“We tried to keep it relatively local but also good challenges so we can go into the season in tip top form.

“It’s good to build relationships with clubs in the local area as football can be quite incestuous industry and you’re never sure when you may need a favour, a player on loan and things like that.”

After the past two campaigns - which saw teams observing Covid protocols - ending early, Shaw is keen for normal serviced to resume this year... if possible.

“Fingers crossed we can end up with a normal uninterrupted season as every club across the land needs that,” he added.

“If not for finances then for sanity as players and the staff around them have found it really, really challenging with the restrictions and complications that come with a match day risk assessment. That can take away from why we all do it.

“If we can have a normal season I’m really excited about that.”

Sleaford Town Rangers began their pre-season fixtures with a 1-0 defeat at Sileby Town on Saturday.

Town fixtures: Saturday, July 10: v Lincoln United Development Squad (A); Tuesday, July 13: v Peterborough Northern Star (A); Saturday, July 17: v Lincoln Moorlands (A); Saturday, July 24: v Swaffham (H); Tuesday, July 27: v Horncastle Town (H).

Rangers fixtures: Saturday, July 10: v 780JLC (A); Saturday, July 31: v Bottesford (A); Saturday, August 7: v Pointon (A); Wednesday, August 11: v Pinchbeck United Reserves (H).

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