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Latest news from Danny Hall

First reported in the Wilts and Glos Standard 29th July 2017

CHARLIE Griffin insists he will be treating his Cirencester Town side's cup final date with Bristol City's young guns on Wednesday night (August 2) as nothing less than a first team affair, writes Simon Parkinson.

The Corinium Stadium supremo sends his new-look squad into combat with the Ashton Gate starlets for an attractive-looking GFA Senior Challenge Cup showdown on the Oaklands Park 3G at Almondsbury (7.30pm).

Griffin will be eager again to spot signs of potential and promise within his ranks as he steels them for the important business of attempting to bounce back swiftly from the shock of last season's relegation from the Southern League Premier Division.

And while their first day of Evo-Stik South (West) Division action at home against Taunton Town on Saturday, August 12 will seldom stray from his thoughts, the 38-year-old one-time Swindon Town, Forest Green Rovers and Gloucester City striker is clearly determined to step up his preparations with the big kick-off fast approaching.

He said: "We're really looking forward to the Bristol City game as it's been a while since our semi-final victory (3-1 on April 19) against Cinderford Town.

"I may just draft in a couple of players from our Development team as we have another friendly two days later at Newport City, but I'll be treating the final as a first team game.

"We should be at full strength for it and the new lads seem to have slotted in well so we're really looking forward to the occasion in the knowledge they (City) will be quick and sharp and a real handful throughout."

He added: "Pre-season has thrown up some different and challenging tests. We lost 5-2 at Bradford Town for starters when I was taking a look at a few trialists, and we went on to beat Fairford 8-2, Longlevens 3-1 and Cheltenham Town Under-23s 7-1, Swindon Town U18s 5-1 and you can throw a 3-3 draw with Tuffley Rovers into the mix too."

Griffin's summer recruitment drive has seen him raid local rivals Bishops Cleeve for a clutch of their performers, including keeper Matt Wieczorek, centre-back Jordan Stoddart, central midfielder Jack Horrell and forward Jack Watts.

Also aboard are former Didcot striker Ben Whitehead, ex-Lydney and Slimbridge defender Mason Lewis and attacking midfielder Felipe Barcelos, a swoop Griffin labels "a real coup" on the strength of his performances with Oxford City, Banbury United and, more recently, Grantham Town.

"We've also retained quite a few players and with Paul Hunt taking time out from football, I've replaced him as my assistant manager with (midfielder) James Mortimer-Jones which I'm delighted about, as 'Jonah' has good knowledge of the club and our league which he won with Cirencester," Griffin enthused.

"He'll give the young lads someone to look up to and aspire to and he'll also continue to play.

"We're definitely looking for an improvement on last season, it goes without saying, and we have our expectations.

"I'll not say we'll be doing this and achieving that but the group know what I expect of them and we know where we want to ultimately be."

This entry was posted on 31 July 2017 at 08:11 and is filed under First Team | Miscellaneous. You can leave a response here.

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