AFC Portchester boss Mick Catlin positive about pre-season progress ahead of Moneyfields friendly

Mick Catlin surveyed AFC Portchester’s pre-season and declared: So far, so good.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 3:20 pm
Updated Monday, 29th July 2019, 4:56 pm
AFC Portchester manager Mick Catlin. Picture: Vernon Nash (230219-098)

The Royals host their final summer friendly when Moneyfields visit the Crest Finance Stadium on Tuesday night (7.45pm).

Despite back-to-back defeats and a broken leg for Joe Noakes, Catlin has been pleased with his Wessex League squad’s progress.

The boss said: ‘At this stage of the summer results count for nothing – it is all about performances.

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‘We deliberately played teams from a higher level because we needed to be stretched and tested.

‘It helps us become aware of any weaknesses so we can address them.

‘Moneyfields will provide us with more of the same.

‘Apart from losing Joe to injury, pre-season has gone pretty much to plan.’

Noakes broke his leg in only his second game back after a year out following knee surgery.

His loss is a major setback for Portchester – with the powerful player an influential member of the squad.

After a disappointing couple of seasons, the Royals are desperate to launch a challenge for the title.

Chairman Paul Kelly has made no secret of the fact he wants the club to progress to a higher level.

And Catlin accepts there is a lot of expectation on his shoulders.

‘The club have worked hard and it is my job to put a team on the pitch to help achieve their ambitions,’ he added.

‘It isn’t going to be easy because there are at least six or seven clubs who will fancy their chances.’

Meanwhile, Dave Carter will be looking for a more professional approach from his Southern League division one south Moneys after their 3-2 defeat to Hamble Club on Saturday.

The Dover Road boss said: ‘We will need to pass the ball better and make sure we go out with the right attitude.

‘With Chichester pulling out on Saturday, this could be our final pre-season game.

‘A few players are struggling with tight hamstrings and I won’t be taking any risks with them.

‘It is all about maintaining good habits.’