THE 1874 COLUMN – by Matt Waters

SATURDAY saw our first team return to action with a 2-1 win over Cheadle Town, with goals coming from Joe Woolley and Kyle Riley.

After the game I caught up with winger Taylor Kennerley, who told me “We have to get at least promoted, but for me I think we need to target the league title.”

He continued, “I’ve got a few personal targets in terms of goals and assists but like all the players, I think we have to we have to get at least promoted, but for me I think we need to target the league title.

“We played so well last year and were heading in the right direction before the season was null and voided, so we have to be up there again challenging.”

When reflecting on Saturday’s win, Taylor added that they got the opportunity to build up their match fitness.

“At times I thought we played well.

"Naturally with it being the first time we have played since March, there was a rustiness to our play but everybody who was there got minutes and it’s a start we can build upon.

“We’ve worked on our shape and how we play in and out of possession and I thought in patches we moved the ball around well, it’s a positive start.”

Taylor also added that everyone in the squad is in high spirits and focussed on achieving our goals this season.

“We were all deflated for obvious reasons, but after eight weeks of training and now a game under our belts everyone is loving being back,” he said.

“Everything has gelled really well together, there is a few trialists and new signings that have been with us the last few weeks and have slotted right in.

“I think starting with a win boosts the mood even more and we’ll see everything come together over the next few weeks.

“In pre-season the starting point is always to get ourselves match fit, but it gives us an extra incentive to prove our place in the squad.

“At the moment everyone is happy and we are focussed to achieve our goals this season!”

Finally, Kennerley rounded off the interview by discussing what it’s like playing behind closed doors.

“It was a strange feeling. Normally we’re used to our fans following us wherever we go so to not have them alongside the new matchday experience made it very different.

“Usually on a matchday whether it be in the league season or a friendly it’s the fans that spur us on, giving us the energy and drive to push on, so that’s something that we are all going to have to adapt too for now.

“However, like we did with the changes to the socially distanced training, we will keep working hard to get promoted!”