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Jamie Connors knows what to expect as Eton Manor start London One North campaign with Tring test

PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 September 2016

Eton Manor win line-out ball against Dover in a pre-season friendly (pic: Martin Pearl)

Eton Manor win line-out ball against Dover in a pre-season friendly (pic: Martin Pearl)

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New Wilderness outfit have enjoyed a positive summer and are hoping to start new season strongly this weekend

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors debated whether he wanted to continue his role in charge of the New Wilderness outfit at the end of the 2015/16 season.

But after some deliberation, the New Zealander decided to carry on his four-year affiliation with the club and will lead their charge in London One North this year.

Even though they struggled in the National League Three South during the previous campaign, losing all 26 fixtures, Manor are determined to bounce back after relegation.

“It’s good to still be involved at a pretty great club. There is a lot of good people at Eton Manor so I’m happy to still be here,” said Connors.

“Obviously it’s nice to be with the group again and we’ve got a few new players so it has brought a bit of excitement along. We’re all looking forward to getting started now.”

After returning to pre-season at the end of June, the preparation stops this weekend as the London One North season begins.

Manor entertain Tring at the New Wilderness on Saturday, fully aware of how well the Hertfordshire club did last season.

Tring recorded 23 wins in London One North during 2015/16, one more than eventual champions Amersham & Chiltern, but lost their play-off against Guildford to miss out on promotion to the National League.

Connors added: “I’m not a huge fan of goal setting. We’d like to win every game, that has always been our philosophy, and to do our best.

“If at the end of the season, we end up doing pretty well then so be it, but we have Tring first up who finished second last year.

“They lost the play-off game, but they’ve been in the National League recently so I know they’ve come up and down and obviously were back in London One last year.

“We’re not looking too far beyond that and it’s going to be a pretty tough match first up, but we’re at home which is nice.”

Connors’ men couldn’t have picked a more difficult start to the new season, but know a victory in the opener isn’t the be-all and end-all.

Even though the Manor head coach admitted he doesn’t like to set aims at the start of the campaign, he did reveal he would love to win the title.

“It’s not the end of the world to lose first up. I’ve been in teams before that are beaten in the first match and then win every subsequent game,” said Connors.

“We’ve got promotion from London One North before and when we did, we did so by getting through the play-off game, so it would be quite nice if we could go up again by actually winning the league.”

When Manor were promoted in the 2014/15 campaign, they began the season by laying down a marker and beating Colchester 15-14 and they will hope to achieve something similar when Tring visit this weekend.


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