09:00AM, Saturday 03 August 2019
Marlow FC kick off their season with the unknown quantities of Barking and Staines Town in front of them. The two sides have both joined the league this season after Barking moved across from the Bostik North, while Staines were relegated from the Southern Premier League South last season.
And although manager Mark Bartley is aware of the ups and downs of the league, he is looking forward to hitting the same high standards as last season.
“For me the target is the same every year,” said Bartley. “I go out there to try and win every game, so by default that probably means I’m trying to win the league.
“We’ve just got to finish as high as possible.
“We enjoyed the playoff scenario last year, clearly we’d like to try and go one better this year and get out the league.”
With plenty of sides strengthening around the league this season, the BetVictor Isthmian South Central is set to be a tricky road for Marlow to navigate, but Bartley is only focused on his Blues.
“I don’t really worry about anyone else,” added Bartley.
“I’ve seen a lot of clubs making signings and I’m not really worried about it.
“We start on (August) 17, we are at home to Barking and then on the following Tuesday we are away to Staines and those are two tough games to start.
“They (Barking) are an unknown quantity so to a degree we have to do a little homework on them.
“Staines will be a good side too as they’ve just come down.
Bracknell Town midfielder Ash Artwell has been included in the Blues’ league squad, which was released on Friday. Artwell impressed in spells for the Robins last season, scoring twice in their Velocity Trophy quarter-final victory over Folkestone Invicta.
Writing on the Marlow FC website, Bartley said: “After trying to sign Ashleigh for the past three seasons I’m delighted to say that I finally have my man as he signs for us from last season’s play-off rivals Bracknell Town. Technically proficient and with a great natural physicality he has been a key acquisition for us.”
Marlow have also swooped for the former Thatcham Town goalkeeper Chris Rackley while Jordan Brown is also back at the club , having swapped Oak Tree Road for Larges Lane last season. The Bracknell defender Elliot Legg is also named in the Blues squad for the season.
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