East Preston raring to go after extended break

East Preston are set for a return to action following a break of just over a month when they entertain Lancing on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger
East Preston are set for a return to action following a break of just over a month when they entertain Lancing on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger

East Preston boss Bob Paine admits both he and his side are itching to get back in competitive action on Saturday.

Wet weather and a free schedule last weekend means EP have not played in just over a month.

East Preston’s last match was back on December, 19 and Paine hopes such an extended period without a match will not have a negative effect on his squad.

He said: “It’s been so long without a game, everyone is just itching to get back in action now.

“We’ve continued to train two times a week, it’s just difficult when you have nothing to prepare for at the end of the week.

“Sessions have been mixed and we’ve tried new things just to keep everyone interested with so long without a game.

“We’ve had plenty of time to prepare, now we must make sure we are at it from the outset against Lancing.”

East Preston’s opposition on Saturday - Lancing - have played four times since Paine’s team were last in action.

Both sides are on the back of a free game weekend and EP boss Paine hopes added freshness works in their favour.

He added: “It is difficult to say how things may pan out on Saturday. There is no doubt it’s going to take a while to get back in the swing of things - given we’ve been so long without a game.

“I’m just hoping we can get back to it with a positive result.”

East Preston were hit by the departure of midfielder Lukas Franzen-Jones last week.

Franzen-Jones left for Southern Combination League Premier Division outfit Saltdean United.

Paine believes a thriving academy set-up allows players from both under-21 and 18s a chance to prove their worth at this level.

“What the departure of Lukas does do is give players a chance to make the step up,” Paine added.

“It’s up to them then, if they flourish in the first-team they will remain in the set-up.

“We’ve got some really promising young players coming through, especially at under-18 level, it’s how we integrate them and create a pathway for them to come through with us here.”