Ely boss says they can bounce straight back

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Brady Stone believes Ely City are stronger for their relegation woe last season as he aims to bring smiles back at The Unwin Ground with an instant return to the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.

The Robins’ faithful endured a torrid campaign last year as the club lost their opening 13 games on the way to finishing bottom of the league, picking up just 22 points from the 38 fixtures.

However, the manager, who is keeping faith with the bulk of last season’s squad as well as adding reinforcements in the shape of Spener Saberton, Paul Summerskill, Craig Neal, Jack Saunders, Will Beech and Alex Theobald, believes the experience will stand his squad in good stead as he prepares a promotion challenge.

“Despite last season I think we will better off for the experience,” said Stone, whose side start the season with a visit from King’s Lynn Town Reserves on Tuesday, August 11.

“We have a point to prove and the spirit and is high within the squad so hopefully we can build a winning mentality.

“Most of the squad have had a year at a higher level and so that will do us good.

“I’m not expecting us to walk the division because there are no easy games, but the aim is definitely to go back up.”

n Meanwhile, Lakenheath will be hoping the disruption of losing their manager during the summer will not have a major affect on their progress ahead of their Kershaw Premier League campaign.

Former Thetford Rovers manager Robert Sims has taken over the reins from Kevin Sobiechowski, who stepped down due to heightened work commitments after leading the club to Suffolk Senior Cup glory and a second-place finish last season.

Sims’ first game in charge will be a trip to Wisbech St Mary on Wednesday, August 12 (7.45pm).