LAUNCESTON manager Dan Hart has strengthened his squad for the upcoming South West Peninsula League (SWPL) Premier West season with the arrivals of Ben Waters and Corey Freeman.
Waters (pictured right) has played for several clubs including Torpoint Athletic and AFC St Austell, while Freeman has turned out for Callington Town as well as being in the Torquay United academy.
Hart is delighted with his latest acquisitions, telling the Post: “Ben is someone me and Todd (assistant manager, Hanrahan) have played against for years and fits the profile of what we’re looking for.
“Ben brings experience to the squad and also he still feels he has something to prove in this league. We are hopeful that he can contribute with goals and by helping the younger players to adjust to a men’s football environment.
“He’s equally adept at playing on the shoulder and using his pace to get in behind as well as receiving the ball to feet.
“Corey is a 20-year-old midfielder who is good with both feet and can operate in the defensive midfield role or further up the pitch. He’s spent the last two years in the USA studying and playing at the University of St Louis in Missouri and represents the type of player we want to bring to Launceston who is technically sound and has a desire to improve.”
Hart’s men had their first run out of pre-season last Thursday night, drawing 0-0 at St Piran League East side Torpoint Athletic Reserves, where both Waters and Freeman (bottom left) made their debuts.
Hart said: “Ben Waters had a goal disallowed for offside and there was a couple of impressive performances in defence from George Warren and Jordan Stidson in particular.
“We were really happy from a defensive point of view. The players that were chosen are beginning to understand the structure of how we’d like to play moving forward. We have much tougher tests to come in pre-season where we’ll look to remain defensively sound but use the time at training to work on our attacking patterns in the final third.”
With four further pre-season fixtures planned, Hart is able to spend the time focusing on the shape and recruitment as opposed to clocking up the miles.
He said: “The fitness levels have never been a problem with this group, so it’s always pleasing to work with a group that come into pre-season ready to hit the ground running. This allows us to spend more contact time working on plans for the upcoming season.
“We’re also still talking to a few more experienced players and are still focused on strengthening the core of the squad.”
The second pre-season game is this Friday night at Pennygillam when Millbrook visit (7.30pm).
The Jenkins Park club — a small village near Torpoint — will play Western League football next term, a feat not lost on Hart.
He said: “We’re looking for the boys to apply what they’ve been learning and ensure that there’s no sense of inferiority amongst any of the squad. Myself and Todd are big admirers of how Millbrook have achieved their successes and it will be a pleasure to go up against them as they prepare for life in the Western League.”
Following Millbrook, the Clarets head to SWPL Premier East side Brixham (July 23) and Western League side Saltash (July 26) in the space of three days, before rounding off their preparations on Friday, July 30, against Brixham’s league rivals Elburton Villa at Pennygillam.
Hart added: “The success of England in the Euros has had an impact in how much we’ve been able to train so far, but from this week the sessions and fixtures become more frequent as we edge ever closer to the first league game at home to Penryn Athletic on August 7.”
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