Garstang boss Baker plays down Riverside expectations

Garstang boss Neil Beesley welcomes new signing Chris Byrne to the club.
Garstang boss Neil Beesley welcomes new signing Chris Byrne to the club.

Garstang boss Lee Baker has shied away from making any bold predictions on the eve of the new West Lancashire League Premier Division season.

The Riversiders open their campaign on Saturday with a home game against Coppull United.

After taking over the reins from Neil Crossley halfway through last season, Baker presided over a relatively successful few months, consolidating the team’s position in mid-table and also guiding the club to the final of the Richardson Cup, although they lost to Charnock Richard.

Baker however has sounded a word of caution ahead of what will be his first full season managing at first-team level.

“There are no targets really this season,” Baker said.

“People keep asking me what we can do this season.

“People might say lots of things about us, but we are not in the same category as clubs like Wrens or Longridge, who are spending X amounts on players.

“We will just go about our business quietly in our own way and let other teams make their minds up about us.”

Baker’s squad is a relatively young one, but he has moved to strengthen it over the summer by the additions of brothers Richard and Alan Coar.

He has also swooped for holding midfielder Chris Byrne, who has arrived from Hurst Green, and is hopeful of making more signings before this weekend’s big kick-off.

Elsewhere on the West Lancashire League’s opening day, Slyne-with-Hest travel to Southport Hesketh.

The Bottomdale Road men went down 4-0 at Hurst Green in their final pre-season friendly on Tuesday night.

The season then continues with a round of midweek fixtures, Slyne hosting Crooklands Casuals on Tuesday and Garstang visiting Longridge 24 hours later.