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Romeo prepares for new season and new shape with Thatcham Town

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Yashwa Romeo’s Thatcham Town squad is beginning to take shape ahead of the new Isthmian South Central League season and, before that, the first of nine pre-season friendlies on Saturday, July 9.

Thatcham will travel to Combined Counties League members Wokingham and Emmbrook to begin a hectic pre-season schedule that Romeo says is designed to give his players time to adapt to a new formation.

He said: “It’s based on the fact that we’re going to change formation.

“The system can be quite complex, we’re going to play more of a diamond.

“I want to give people game time in their positions, get to know how we work.

“It gives me time to look at who I want and who I don’t.”

Yashwa Romeo will be hoping to be all smiles next season
Yashwa Romeo will be hoping to be all smiles next season

Romeo will doubtless already have some idea of who he wants – captain Josh Edwards, Nathan Jones, Jack Hopwood, Simeon Weekes, Anton Miller, Mo Ceesay, Zeid Hannachi, Tinashe Gwavava and Taylor Harry have all signed on for another season at Waterside Park.

The Kingfishers have also announced the signings of Tahir Carmichael from Woodley United, experienced defender Nathaniel Bovell and Alex Fragata, who returns for a second spell.

Romeo said: “It’s very important, we ended the season really well so it was important to me to retain a lot of the squad.

“The rest of the boys have committed, all we need to do now is sprinkle some magic and experience on the squad."

Romeo also confirmed one departure in the form of left back Cameron Rohart-Brown, who has signed for Binfield.

Romeo also admits there is uncertainty surrounding the future of Ollie Bourne, who made nine impressive first team appearances last season and was awarded youth team player of the year, ahead of a trial with League Two side Colchester United.

He said: “Ollie has a trial with Colchester Under-23s.

“If he gets in, I’ll need to go into the market again, we should know in a couple of weeks.

“If he stays, he’s impressive, we’re in a strong position.”

Romeo is targetting Thatcham’s fifth friendly, at home to Didcot on July 22, as the date he hopes to have his squad finalised

Fans can also expect Romeo, in his first full season in charge, to implement changes in Thatcham’s style of play.

“We’ll be direct, it won’t be long ball, but we’ll have two strikers up there, so we’ve got to get the ball into the box and try and be effective.”

Thatcham Town supporters can look forward to a new style and a new shape next season – time will tell if diamonds really are forever.

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