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Stafford Rangers will be ready for the new challenge

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: June 21, 2014

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NEW Stafford Rangers boss Neil Kitching believes the relegated club will be ready for the challenge of Evo-Stik division one football in August. 

The former Rushall Olympic manager took over the Marston Road helm at the end of last month after Graham Heathcote (Rangers third boss last season) quit.

“In terms of where we are at right now I’m quite happy with the way things are progressing, “ said Kitching

“We have received a lot of applications for trials with players sending in their cv’s and videos. There is a good interest about the club and I’ve been busy meeting players at the ground. I’m looking to bring in local (Midland based) players. 

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“There is a need to change the mentality at the football club. A fresh start is required. We need to bring in fresh legs, young hungry lads.” 

Kitching, who works for a company in Stone, said: “It will take a bit of time but we are putting in the first building blocks.

“I believe we will have a strong enough side to compete in the (Evo-Stik division one) league, but it will be a changing process in pre-season and the early part of the league season.” 

As far as the squad goes, Kitching has confirmed that six of last season’s squad, Ollie Davies, Dan Cope, Matt Berkeley, along with youth team players Alex Curtis, Jack Edwards and Tom Vaughan have committed themselves to the club.

In addition, Kitching has returned to Rushall for the signings of ex-Boro player Christian Dacres, former Kidderminster Harriers’ James Dance and Judd Ellis (all midfield), while Brocton keeper Adam Whitehouse has signed. 

This week, Kitching added Stafford based midfielder Levi Reid to the squad, while young ex-Rushall and Leamington keeper Lewis Fenney has also joined the Rangers ranks. 

On the forward front, Kitching said he was also delighted to capture the signature of former Stoke City Academy striker Ryan Winter, who was a target for several clubs. 

The 20-year-old has just returned from a two-year scholarship in America. “A number of clubs were chasing him. He is 6 foot 2 inch, a big, strong target man whose also quite sharp, “ said Kitching, who is also targeting another front man. 

Kitching will be running the rule over several trialists when the Rangers players report back for pre-season training on July 1. The club’s first pre-season game is at home to Leamington on July 12 (3pm).

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