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Exciting times ahead for Cambridge City as Robbie Nightingale stays focused on the present

The pitch is already laid at the new Cambridge City ground at Sawston. Picture: Keith Heppell
The pitch is already laid at the new Cambridge City ground at Sawston. Picture: Keith Heppell

Robbie Nightingale has stressed the importance of Cambridge City focusing on the present and not letting the prized move into the new stadium at Sawston become a distraction.

The grass pitch at the site has been laid which heightens the anticipation of all those involved with the Lilywhites about moving into a place to call their own for the first time since 2013.

But the manager is determined that sights are set on making the most of the season ahead, which was boosted by a 5-1 win at Daventry Town in the FA Cup, preliminary round last Saturday.

“When you throw Sawston into it, it’s an exciting time for the football club and the people involved, and the fans,” said Nightingale.

“It’s amazing to look forward to, but for us it is about the here and now. We can’t afford to look too far forward, the furthest forward we look is Carlton [Town away] on Saturday.

“We want to try to take one game at a time, and try to move through that.

“It’s just really easy to look at what we’ve got coming and lose 20 games on the bounce and I won’t be there to enjoy it!

“Sawston is great for everyone connected with the football club, but as a football team and management team we will take each game as it comes, and we will try to put together a very good group that when we do move into Sawston people that come to watch us will be proud of.”

The new stadium has been a long time in planning and it is particularly special for Nightingale, pictured, who has a lifelong association with City.

“Looking at it as someone that has supported the club from a very early age it’s an amazing achievement and one that the people that have made it possible, the Satchells, what they are going to produce is something so amazing that the football club will be sustainable for so many years to come,” he said.

“For someone that has supported the club for so many years, it’s just amazing to be able to finally know that we’ve got somewhere that is going to be such a good place to house our games and not just the first team, but girls and boys all the way through the system.

“It is something that we can build on and hopefully build massive success both on and off the field, with both men’s and women’s football.”

Cambridge City manager Robbie Nightingale. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge City manager Robbie Nightingale. Picture: Keith Heppell

Absentees had impacted City as they got off to a tricky start to life in the Northern Premier League, Midlands division with two defeats, but goals from Ryan Swift, Taylor Parr, Tom Hitchcock, Isaac Maynard and Jonas Kolanda saw them respond in the FA Cup, and they will now face East Thurrock United at home on September 4.

“In both games there were lots of periods in the game where we have done well, and probably should have done better,” said Nightingale about the two defeats.

“When you’re up against it, and you lose a couple of games, confidence is a little low and you want to start the game well.

“It was one of those games on Saturday where the first 15 to 20 minutes were quite important and it was pretty end to end and even. They got a free kick and deflected goal and you think ‘oh, here we go again’ but credit to the lads as we regrouped at half time, got back in at 1-1 and we went on to do really well in the second half. The four goals show that.”

As for the FA Cup draw, Nightingale added: “The thing for us is they are a step above us but it’s a home tie and it’s one we will be looking forward to. We want to do well, we want to progress, we want to earn some more money. We don’t fear anybody, certainly with the group that we have.”

Ed Rolph scored for Histon as they went out of the FA Cup with a 4-1 defeat at Newport Pagnell Town.

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