Leiston boss Driver hopes his front four can hit the ground running

Christy Finch celebrates after scoring in the Suffolk Premier Cup final at the end of last season Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Christy Finch celebrates after scoring in the Suffolk Premier Cup final at the end of last season Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Leiston boss Glenn Driver is confident his team’s bonding and togetherness will see them through as they venture into unknown territory this season.

Leiston, like Lowestoft and Needham Market, have moved into a different Step 3 league and will now play their football in the Southern Premier Central League from August.

It’s more trips west towards Cambridgeshire and the midlands than south towards London and the south east as it was last campaign.

“It will be different, with different teams, different grounds and I’m looking forward to it,” Driver said.

“I don’t know that much about the teams in the league. I think it may be a bit more physical and we may have to rein in our free-flowing football a bit at times, especially away from home.

“But I’m happy with the squad. There is a good togetherness about them. We have introduced a few younger players into the first-team squad. They will get an opportunity.

“I like what we’ve got and I can’t wait to get going.”

Leiston start their pre-season at Coggeshall on Saturday, Driver hoping his attacking front four can hit the ground running.

“Our front four, Cemal Ramadan, Jake Reed, Matt Blake and Christy Finch, have got loads of goals in them,” Driver said.

“It was great to have Matt Blake back firing in the goals at the end of last season.

“He’ll be the first to admit he struggled a bit in front of goal last year after his great first season with us. But after going to Norwich United on loan for a month, he regained his mojo.”

The new Southern Premier Central includes teams like King’s Lynn, Rushden and Kettering, all big non-league clubs. But Driver says he hasn’t overly paid much attention to who else Leiston will be up against next season.

“As I have said, I think it may be more physical, but I really don’t know to much about many of the teams,” he said.

“I do know King’s Lynn got 100 points last season and finished second, and then lost in the play-offs. So there are obviously good sides out there.

“But I don’t reckon there are that many better sides than the likes of Billericay, Dulwich Hamlet, Hendon and Folkestone who we played last season.”

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