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Dan Williams ready to trade blows with league’s big boys

By Nick Elwell | Non league | Published:

Haughmond chief Dan Williams says they are ready to punch above their weight again in the Midland Premier.

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In a division containing big non-league name Worcester City and ambitious teams Sporting Khalsa, Newark Flowserve and Walsall Wood, the 2020/21 campaign promises to be tough for budgetless Mond.

But they were on course for survival before last term was cut short, and Williams said: “We’ll just do our best. We haven’t got any money to spend, so it is what it is, but we’ll continue to punch above our weight.

“We continue to punch above our weight in terms of Shropshire football.

“There are teams who simply aren’t as good as us, and that’s why they’re in the leagues below, but they seem to have money to spend.

“In our league, you’ve got teams like Newark signing (former Walsall striker) Craig Westcarr. He’s only 34 and has been banging in the goals two or three leagues higher.

“Even the teams who were around us last year, Gresley seem to have spent some money. Lye Town have had a bash at it.

“Still, we don’t quite know the situation of the league. I know there are 19 teams, but there are rumours that there will potentially be no relegation.

“That would ease the pressure, but you could say we need that pressure to perform. So, our aim is to try to improve.

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“The lads have never let me down, although jump up from step six to five is the biggest in non-league football. The standard is a big jump up.

“We’ll take in and around where we were last season, no doubt.”

As well as the aforementioned sides, Romulus, Boldmere St Michaels – managed by ex-Stafford Rangers boss Neil Kitching – and Stourport Swifts are in the Midland Premier.

“We were hoping Khalsa got promoted as they probably stuck about 15 past us in three games last year,” said Williams.

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“Khalsa will be there, signing big players, as they’ve got a big set-up. Newark are having a crack at it, Coventry United are a big side.

“They’re all great tests for us. If we’re not at 100 per cent, we’ll get beat.

“And even if we are at 100 per cent, we could still get beat.

“You can find yourself on a bad run, despite not playing poorly, as they’re just good sides. But at least you know where you have to be when you turn up.”

Haughmond’s season is due to begin at the start of next month, with the FA Cup on September 1 and the league beginning on September 5.

And to get ready, they have a few more friendlies after... against Church Stretton on Tuesday night.

“We’re hopeful. We have had our first friendly now,” added Williams.

“We’ve got to base it on the season starting in September. We've played Church Stretton and then the friendlies will get more difficult as they go along, really.

“It's six friendlies in total and the lads just want to get back playing, obviously.”

Nick Elwell

By Nick Elwell
Grassroots Sports Editor

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