WITH last season consigned to history, it’s all about looking forward to the season ahead for Malpas FC and their highly-rated manager Lea Edge.

The Villagers won two trophies last season and at one stage looked well placed to make a challenge for promotion.

They still finished a creditable fourth in Cheshire League Division Two and Edge has his sights set on further success this season, which kicks off on August 9.

“The club has made some major decisions over the summer,” said Edge.

“We have entered a team in the Cheshire League’s reserve division and have also entered a Development squad in the Cheshire under 21 League.

“I see both these decisions as a major positive for the football club as it looks to progress.

“Dave Roycroft has joined the management team and brings with him a lot of experience in the game having managed at a good level.

“Training-wise it has been going well with good numbers at the two sessions per week, but it’s all about getting it into games to put systems into place.

“We will be looking for all three teams to play the same system to make it easier for players to move around the teams.

“I’ve managed to retain the vast majority of last season’s squad with the massive positive of our under 16 squad joining up, with all of them impressing in the pre-season so far.

“The one big disappointment is the likely loss of our star striker Alex Hughes who managed to score 50 goals for us last season.

“He was always going to be destined for a higher level and it looks like he’s headed for Chester which is brilliant for the lad.

“I don’t expect him to be at the club this season and I wish him all the very best, but you never know what happens. 

“I have brought a few young players in and am still working hard to bring in more quality to the squad.

“If I get one or two that’s great, but if not I am more than happy with what I have already.

“Added to that, we have a number of players back from long term injury which is like signing new players who have proven ability.”

Malpas have pre-season clashes with Ellesmere, Whitchurch, Brymbo and Upton arranged with Edge likely to give runouts to the whole squad to hone match fitness ahead of the campaign getting under way in a little more than two weeks.