LAVERSTOCK and Ford open their Wessex League Division One campaign at home to Petersfield this Saturday.

Lavvy have re-shuffled their back room staff as Graham Mankin is back playing now so Dave Campbell-Smith from the club's very successful under-16 and under-18 has taken over as assistant manager.

Manager Liam McConnell said: "Towards the end of last season, we both realised his playing days were far from over. He is one of the best leaders and centre halves in the league.

"We want to use that and to help the younger lads develop."

Injuries hit Laverstock hit last term and McConnell added: "We have Tom Roberts back in goal, Archie Lovegrove is like a new player after five months out.

"The likes of Wessex League experienced players such as Joe Rawkins, Pete Fletcher, Ollie Roe, all joined mid way last season so they’re like new players now.

"Lester Barr has used all last season to recover from a serious knee operation and is looking like his old self.

"Seb Dawes has re-signed, an experienced Wessex talent, he’s matured over the years and all know Dawes will bring an exciting dynamic as well as experience to the group."

He added: "Keeping the key players has been key. It also allows me to give more experience to the younger generation, last season five under-18s made over 10 appearances for the first team.

"We want the same this year and with our reserve side reformed under Sean Hartley and Terry Pyke it’s set up nicely to allow that to happen."

Looking ahead to the season McConnell said: "Our intention is simple. This is our best chance to achieve our goal of promotion.

"Last season was all about learning and getting a new group playing together, the same group have another year under their belt, have learnt painful lessons and have seen what it takes to win at this level.

"With four teams due for promotion we are excited by the challenge but will take it a step at a time. We’ll enjoy the ride and good to achieve our goal come April 2020."