BROMSGROVE Sporting manager Paul Smith says pre-season friendlies against high-calibre opposition will give his squad the test it needs to hit the ground running for when the season starts next month.
Following the Rouslers’ 3-1 victory at Droitwich Spa on Saturday and the 6-0 trouncing of Alcester Town on Tuesday night, Smith’s side face sterner opposition in the coming weeks with games against Midland League Premier outfits Sporting Khalsa on Saturday and Walsall Wood on Tuesday.
Sporting then face Southern Premier League side Stratford Town (July 30) at the Victoria Ground before travelling to Northern Premier League outfit Halesowen Town (August 2) to complete their summer schedule.
With the start of the Midland League Division One season just three weeks away, Smith told the Standard making sure Sporting hit the ground running is key to success.
“No disrespect to the teams we have played so far but the first three games of pre-season were break in games for us and making sure our fitness levels were where they needed to be,” he said.
“We’ve got a step-up in calibre of opposition over the coming weeks but it’s exactly where we need to be.
“We need to be playing good sides now and hopefully playing against better opposition can push our players further.
“The pre-season schedule was structured in a way so that we hit the ground running once the season starts.”
Smith has continued to bolster his squad ahead of the new season with Chris Conway rejoining from Littleton, Lucky Nwosu agreeing to sign on for a further year while former Rousler Danny Ludlow, who spent last season at Pershore Town, has also joined.
Somalian Ahmed Ali, who has played professionally in the lower leagues in Holland, is currently on trial but the Rouslers are working with the FA to secure international clearance for the defensive midfielder.
With so many squad options available and plenty of excellent performances on show from his players, Smith said he’s got a selection headache ahead of the season.
“The squad is looking fit and strong and looks to have all the quality it requires in every area of the field,” he added.
“While I was driving home from the 6-0 win at Alcester I thought of six different line-ups but it’s good to be in that kind of position as a manager.
“The commitment level of the boys is exactly where it needs to be, they’re chomping at the bit to try and secure a first team spot and it’s a massive headache but I love these problems.”
Elsewhere, defender Simon Fitter has departed the Rouslers and joined up with Midland League Premier Division side Highgate United.