Blues boss Norwood is raring to go

Nelson have moved to replace Ben Hoskin and Jay Hart, who have joined Padiham
Nelson have moved to replace Ben Hoskin and Jay Hart, who have joined Padiham

Nelson kick-off their season tomorrow with an FA Cup tie against Albion Sports at Farsley Celtic’s Throstle Nest.

Boss Alex Norwood has been busy adding to his squad ahead of the game, confirming the signings of strikers Brad Kay , Connor Elliot and Joe Rodriguez – younger brother of Jay – as well as full back pair Billy Grogan and Jack Marshall.

And he is looking forward to competing in what is regarded as the best cup competition in the world.

A week before Norwood’s men get their teeth in their North West Counties First Division campaign, following their relegation from the Premier Division, he said: “If you can’t get up for the FA Cup, what are you in the game for?

“We go into the game on a good note after coming back from 2-0 down to win 4-2 at Conwy Borough.

“Pre-season is initially mainly about getting minites, then adapting to the system, but in the last game it was about winning a game of football, and in the second half we were superb.”

There has been a big turnover of players at Little Wembley as Norwood reshapes the squad, and he spoke of his five new faces this week: “They’ve been with us for a while, they’ve played a game or two already.

“Joe Rodriguez trained for the first time this week, but the rest have been in and around us.

“Joe has played at a lower level than he is capable of playing at, but his work plans had affected that, and he’s been able to commit to us now.

“We’ve signed the three strikers, as we didn’t score enough goals, or win enough games, last season.

“Jay Hart was really the only goal threat.

“But the lads understand the situation, we have a squad and have all different types of strikers now, which I’m really pleased with.”

Tongue in cheek, he added: “Hopefully there’s a bit of the 1999 Manchester United treble-winners about it, when they had Yorke and Cole, and Sheringham and Solksjaer to come on.

“They can argue over which one is which!

“But everyone who has come in has been someone we have targeted specifically.

“There was nothing reactionary, we tried to find players that fit the system, and have the right character.

“So we’re pleased with what we’ve been able to do.”

Nelson, under Phil Eastwood, endured a miserable start to last season, which ultimately led to relegation, and Norwood is looking to start well when the league campaign, which begins at Alsager Town a week tomorrow.

He said: “Nobody wanted to be relegated, but sometimes you have to take a step back to go forward.

“The club has been on a slippery slope, and you can’t put a stop to that overnight, so we want to start well and try and arrest the slide.

“It’s a new team, and it won’t be easy, but if the players are committed to training, and being developed, we will have a better chance of winning games.”