Promotion is season's goal for Leighton Town

Joint manager Joe Sweeney: 'Club is in a fantastic place on and off the pitch'

Goal celebrations from Leighton Town's pre-season friendly with Berkhamsted  (Pictures by Andrew Parker)
Goal celebrations from Leighton Town's pre-season friendly with Berkhamsted (Pictures by Andrew Parker)

Promotion is the goal for Leighton Town this season, as the ambitious Bell Close club step up preparations for their 2021-22 campaign.

In training for another year in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division - which starts on Tuesday, August 3 - their target is restoring Step 4 status in the FA’s non-league pyramid.

Town have already secured the services of 13 of last season’s squad and six new players including goalkeeper Ollie Leslie, defenders Ross Taylor and Ethan Flanagan, midfielder Ollie Cox and forwards Dave Parkinson and Charlie Moss.

Danny Webb on a run against Berkhamsted

“We’ve been back in training four weeks now and the boys have been excellent, working very hard with a great attitude,” said joint manager Joe Sweeney.

“We’ve had two pre-season games so far, with lots of goals. Although we’ve conceded a few we’ve scored plenty too.”

Biggleswade FC won 6-4 last week and Berkhamsted 5-3 on Saturday.

“We wanted to start with teams in the top ten from the league above us so they would be big tests and they’ve been good work outs,” he said.

Goalmouth action between Leighton Town and Berkhamsted (Pictures by Andrew Parker)

“We were 2-1 up at Berkhamsted, trying a new formation, but we were giving more players minutes in the second half so we can still take a lot of positives from it.

“Friendlies are about getting all the players to the same fitness levels to start the league games, not getting caught up with scores and results.”

This week Town are at Pitstone & Ivinghoe on Thursday evening (7.30pm) and Bovingdon on Saturday (3pm) followed by a trip to AFC Dunstable on Tuesday 20th (7.30pm) before their home games against Hitchin Town on Saturday 24th and Kings Langley on Tuesday 27th. Pre-season concludes on Saturday 31st at Thame United.

“We’ve got an excellent couple of weeks to look forward to. When we start the home games we want everyone to know they’re welcome to come down and see us,” added Sweeney.

“The club is vibrant and the new players have given us fresh impetus and a new desire and hunger.

“We’ve got big targets this season so it’s great to get the ball rolling. We want to be competitive in every competition we are in, but promotion is really the only target, getting the club back up to the next level.

“We have a great squad of players and the club is in a fantastic place on and off the pitch.

“We are really going for it now and positive about what we want to do.

“We are really looking forward to the new season and want to get as many people involved as we can as we’re gearing up and getting ready to go.”

Friday’s FA Cup draw saw Leighton set for an away tie at FC Clacton on August 7 in the extra preliminary round, with the winners facing a trip to higher league Brentwood Town on August 21 in the next round.

After their string off successes in the competition, Leighton won’t enter the FA Vase draw until the second round proper on November 20.

The club’s Under 18s will play Corby Town at Bell Close on August 30 in the Preliminary Round of the SCFYL FA Youth Cup.