Newbury excited by new challenge

Published: 21 Jul 2008 11:000 comments

NEWBURY Town FC are ready for a new start in the Hellenic League - more than 20 years since they last graced step six of the non-league pyramid.

Following a rapidfire rise through the Reading Football League, which saw the side secure five successive promotions, the Faraday Road club have taken the next step up into Division One (East) of the Hellenic League.

And the start of the new campaign holds plenty of potential for the club's stalwart chairman Keith Moss.

He said: "It's a big step up, but something that everyone at the club is very much looking forward to.

"It's a level of football we haven't been involved in for a few years, but this has been the aim ever since we joined the Reading Football League and we have never looked back.

"We've come straight through the league from Division Four and we're hoping we can keep that momentum going and be up there towards the top end of things this season.

"It will be good for the town because a place the size of Newbury really deserves a decent football club.

"Hopefully we can provide that for them this season and the seasons to come."

Moss oversaw the revitalisation of the club as manager for more than a decade, before taking on the role of chairman after guiding the side to second place in the Senior Division of the Reading League last season.

Joint managers Darren Angell and David Ingram have been brought in over the close season from West Berkshire neighbours, and fellow Hellenic League side Kintbury Rangers, to oversee the first team.

And Angell was quick to pay tribute to the efforts of Moss, who will still be involved around the first team squad this campaign.

He explained: "It's a very exciting time and really all this is down to Keith Moss. He has done so much for the club to get it up to this level.

"Hopefully we can combine everything he knows about the club and combine it with some of the experience we have picked up over the years at Kintbury."

Angell intends to give the players who brought Newbury through the leagues their chance to shine at the next level.

But he has also brought four players with him from Kintbury - including last year's top scorer in the division Shaun Thorp.

Newbury get their campaign underway against one of the title favourites Ascot United on Tuesday, August 12 and follow that up with two more home clashes against Prestwood (August 16) and Finchampstead (August 19).

And Angell admits he can't wait for things to get going.

He added: "It will be a big test, but if we can handle it and get off to a good start then we will certainly be looking to finish up in the top six.

"Those first four or five games are important because if you can settle in the league early on, it will really stand you in good stead."

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