Kimble is happy to see his Witham team get tested as Braintree come to Town (From Braintree and Witham Times)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting BWT to 80360 or you can email us »
Kimble is happy to see his Witham team get tested as Braintree come to Town
Witham Town are happy to be testing themselves as they prepare for their return to the Ryman League.
The Essex Senior League champions want to be as ready as they can be as they make the move back into step four of the non-league pyramid and manager Garry Kimble has arranged a tough pre-season campaign for his team.
That started with former Witham player Steve Tilson bringing his Canvey Island side to Spa Road on Tuesday, is set to continue with the visit of local rivals Braintree Town tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) and continues with more testing home fixtures against Leiston on Saturday and Colchester United on Tuesday.
The Iron’s visit has aroused plenty of interest and Witham are hoping for a big crowd at Spa Road, but Kimble feels it’s exactly the type of examination his players need.
He said: “(Braintree manager) Alan Devonshire said to me that he’d bring the full-strength Braintree squad and I’ve had no indication that he has changed his mind.
“There have been lots of people talking about it as it has been a while since the two teams played each other.
“There’s plenty of local interest and I think it will be a good game. I’d love to see as many people turn out as possible as half of the gate receipts will go into my playing budget, so people will be having a direct impact on the team.
“I’ve been really pleased with our lads’ fitness levels and they have been brilliant so far, but these games will test them.
“I would rather have tests in pre-season than meaningless games.
“I have looked at some other teams’ pre-season fixtures and they aren’t that testing, but I feel you don’t get anything out of an easy game where you’ve trounced someone.
“I always felt that way as a player and I feel the same way as a manager.
“It worked for us last season and hopefully it will again this year.
“Hopefully we are doing things in the right way and if we continue to do that, I can see no reason why we can’t do well in the Ryman League this year.”
See the Witham and Braintree Times for the full version of this story and to get a free Witham Town 2012/13 season fixture list poster.