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Tadley to kick off new season with a tough trip to Colliers Wood

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Tadley Calleva’s new Combined Counties League Premier Division South season will begin with a trip to Colliers Wood United on Saturday, August 13.

Tadley will then host Farnham Town on Tuesday 16 in a packed August schedule that also includes FA Cup, FA Vase and Hampshire Cup ties.

The month then concludes with another home league match against Frimley Green on Monday, August 29.

Tadley Calleva in action last season
Tadley Calleva in action last season

September includes the first round of the Premier Challenge Cup, at home to Burnham.

Ben Dillon, who manages the side alongside Joe Lawler, said: “We know Colliers Wood very well, they’ve got a very nice pitch, we’d have preferred a home game but we’re quite happy to play there.

“They’re a very, very good side, it’s a tough game and a tough start.

Ben Dillon and Joe Lawler
Ben Dillon and Joe Lawler

“We’ve got Wincanton in the FA Cup, then Colliers Wood, then Farnham on a Tuesday night which will be another tough game.

“Our opening three or four fixtures are very difficult, so we’ll know exactly where we’re at after the first few games.

“It’ll be a big challenge, but it’s one that we’re very much looking forward to.”

Dillon’s side stepped up their pre-season preparations last week with two emphatic wins over Mortimer and Sandhurst Town.

The Tadders beat Thames Valley Premier League side Mortimer 7-1 on Wednesday, July 20 and then thrashed a “talented, exciting” Sandhurst Town 9-1 on Saturday, July 23.

Ben Wright, last season’s top goalscorer, bagged a hat-trick on Wednesday and then netted four on the weekend as Tadley approach the new season full of confidence.

“We set up this week’s friendlies against young, fit, energetic teams,” said Dillon.

“It was a good test, it was something different, there’s method behind the madness.

“We did really well against both sides, we were comfortable, they were enjoyable games and we got a lot of answers from them.”

Dillon, who took over with Lawler last October, is “happy with where we’re at” ahead of Tadley’s first competitive game, an FA Cup extra preliminary round tie at home to Wincanton on August 6.

“I’m pleased with pre-season so far, I think we’re about where we need to be,” said Dillon.

“Obviously there’s always room for improvement, but our squad is starting to come together now.

“We’ll try and play out from the back, play good football and, hopefully, win lots of football games in the best way we can.”

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