City targeting blueprint style for new season
Lilywhites get ready for season opener
Robbie Nightingale has set his sights on Cambridge City creating an exciting and expansive brand of football in the new Evo-Stik League, South East Division.
The Lilywhites were relegated on the final day of the Premier Division last season, despite winning five of their last six games, and drawing the other.
But it has not been a pre-season of big changes at City, as manager Nightingale has looked to retain the bulk of the squad and make a number of key additions.
Goalkeeper Niall Conory, defenders Ian Miller and Mark Coulson and midfielder Michael King have arrived, while Tom Knowles has joined on loan for a month from Cambridge United.
And youngsters Josh Lowe, Adam Capel and Alex Lyratzopolous have been promoted to the first-team squad, with the likes of James Tee, Harry Farrow, Harvey Bullin and James Brown on the fringes.
“They [the new signings] all tick the boxes that we wanted them to tick,” said Nightingale.
“We’re still in communication with a few others and are hopeful of adding a few more.
“We want a team that’s young and full of energy – we play at a high intensity so that’s what we need to be.”
And it is the style of play that is important to Nightingale as he shapes the new-look City.
“We’re trying to play with a bit more freedom and get it on the floor,” he said.
“We need to have another way of playing, and we have spent much of pre-season having a lot of touches and a lot of possession and being really comfortable on the ball.
“But we have still got all of the basics that we go by – hard work and hard to break down.
“We have recruited some really good technical players that have come out of academy football but have also sampled men’s football and know it’s a different league where they will not get time on the ball.
“And because of where they have come from, they are comfortable on the ball.”
As for what to expect from the division, Nightingale said: “There are some big teams in there this year and we’re under no illusions that it will be a tough season and we will have to fight for every point.
“Every team can hurt you because of the level we are at. But as long as we approach each game with the same mentality and we work hard, then we will be okay.”
City kick off their new season at home to Ashford Town (Middlesex) on Saturday (August 12).