John Sheridan and his staff met the entire first team squad yesterday as the players reported back to prepare for the forthcoming Sky Bet League Two season.
It is just over a week until the squad play their first pre-season friendly match against Linby Colliery Welfare FC at Rolls Royce Leisure, Hucknall. This has traditionally been our first warm-up venue in recent seasons, and should be a bumper day for Rolls Royce as it’s the first opportunity for us to see our new recruits in action. I’m sure you’re all looking forward to the day as much as I am.
Significant progress has been made in restructuring the squad in readiness for the new season. We’ve already added six new recruits, with the seventh to be announced later today. We may still see further new faces arriving over the next few weeks.
Both John and I believe that every one of the players we’ve brought in so far strengthen the team and add depth to the squad. We’ve been delighted to add players who have enjoyed success at this level, in both the play-offs and promotion winning sides, and also played at a higher level. When considering player recruitment, it is imperative that we don’t just think of the coming season, but sign players that we believe are capable of performing at League One level in the future.
There have also been some departures from the club over the past couple of weeks. Kyle De Silva left last week by mutual consent and has since joined FC Eindhoven, whilst Mawouna Amevor also departed Meadow Lane yesterday. Filip Valencic and Ronan Murray will not be returning to train with the club, and we wish all these players our very best wishes for their future careers.
We will be launching our new playing kit in the near future and I hope to be in a position to share some images with you over the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I inherited a situation which sees us receiving our supply later than I would’ve anticipated, and I will be working hard to ensure that this does not happen again in the future.
Our Retail Manager, Lynn, and I are working closely with our kit supplier in the hope that you can get your hands on the home shirt during our home pre-season friendly matches. Our season ticket holders will, of course, have first priority to reserve and buy their shirts ahead of general sale. We will communicate further details at the earliest opportunity.
Talking of season tickets, I am delighted to report that sales have remained strong and on a par with last season, and would like to again thank those supporters who have already purchased for their continued support. The deadline has now passed for existing season ticket holders to retain their seats and these have now been released for general sale.
Season tickets undoubtedly offer the best value for watching the Magpies at Meadow Lane, and with our price pledge will continue to do so.
I will be introducing a number of positive and beneficial changes to our match ticketing structure for the new season. To bring us in line with most other clubs, it will now be cheaper to purchase your League match tickets prior to the day of the game. When we announce our prices next week, you will notice reductions across the board for all supporters who purchase in advance.
There will be further savings, for family groups, in the Haydn Green Family Stand as I look to encourage more families to watch us in action. If you do attend as a family unit, I would urge you to take advantage of the additional savings in this area.
We will also be extending our ticket office opening times on the day before home matches to enable those people who like to purchase their tickets in person, but work full-time, the opportunity to take advantage of the pre-match day prices. The ticket office will remain open until 7pm on the eve of every home League match.
By introducing these pre-match day discounts, we will of course eventually move away from accepting cash at the turnstiles. This will be a gradual process as the season progresses, and I would therefore encourage all those who pay on a game-by-game basis to purchase their tickets in advance. If you still wish to purchase on the day of the game and pay match day prices, you will in time have to purchase a ticket from the ticket office before going to the turnstiles.
Don’t forget that tickets are now on sale for all three of our home pre-season friendly games. Mike Edwards’ testimonial clash with Nottingham Forest takes place on Saturday 23rd July, and it would be great to see as many of you here as possible to support his day. We then welcome Walsall on Tuesday 26th July, before Blackburn Rovers visit on Sunday 31st July. Prices for all of these matches are available from the ticket office, on our website and across our social media platforms.