Lancaster City boss cannot wait to play matches again

Almost seven weeks on from the final game of last season and Lancaster City boss Mark Fell is already looking forward to their return to action.

The Dolly Blues concluded their NPL Premier Division campaign on April 23, since when the manager has been busy off the field putting plans in place for the season ahead.

Signings have been made and contracts offered as the club looks to build upon last season’s 11th-placed finish in 2022/23.

After spending the last few weeks focusing on signings, retentions and departures, the manager is ready to switch his attention to on-field matters.

Lancaster City boss Mark Fell is looking forward to their return to action (photo:Phil Dawson)

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Fell admitted: “I’m really keen to get back now.

“It was tough last year, it took me 10 days to get over it, but I’m keen to get back going again.

“I hate this time of year, having to talk with my players and deciding who to keep: they are hard discussions to have because they’re trying to get the best for themselves as well.

“Negotiations aren’t nice, they aren’t something I enjoy doing, but we’re well on the way now.

“It’s just a case now of getting the best option available to us – and then seeing whether trialists come in and impress because there’s always one or two that can surprise you.”

Pre-season fixtures get underway next month with a number of matches having been arranged in the build-up to the new season.

A Blackburn Rovers XI and Preston North End’s U23s visit Giant Axe on July 8 and August 2 respectively.

There is also a trip to NPL West club Widnes booked in for July 30: a match which aids City’s preparations in more ways than one.

Fell explained: “We’ve got a decent mix of games planned for pre-season.

“There’s a good balance with the games against Blackburn and Preston but we’ve also got Widnes who play on a 3G pitch.

“We know that when we play three or four sides in our division next season, those games are going to be on 3G and 4G.

“We wanted to get a bit of an indication as to what that was like.”