New Woodpeckers boss is facing tough opening test against FC Clacton

Woodbridge's Tom Trevivian (right) faces a late fitness test

Woodbridge's Tom Trevivian (right) faces a late fitness test - Credit: Andrew Partridge

There will be a battle of the new managers in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division tomorrow as Woodbridge Town travel to FC Clacton.

New Woodpeckers boss Lee Elliston has been in charge of first-team affairs at Notcutts Park less than a week and his first test is against a FC Clacton side, who have only had Phil Yearling at the helm for a fortnight.

Rooted to the foot of the table, Elliston, who joins Woodbridge from a coaching role at Ryman North’s Burnham Ramblers, is looking forward to the challenge facing him at the club.

“It’s a big, big task and one that I’m seeing as more of a project if I’m honest,” said Elliston.

Elliston has only had one training session with his troops so far but was pleased with what he saw.

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He said: “It was a good session.

“I met most of the players for the first time and the session had the application and effort I’m expecting it to have for the rest of the season.

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“Look, it’s a tough ask for progress to grow overnight but hopefully there will be a hint of what came out in the session against Clacton.

“It would’ve been nice to have a couple of sessions before the game but we are where we are and we have to deal with that.”

Despite only being at the club for a short period, Elliston has already been busy in trying to bring players in to turn around the club’s fortunes.

“We’ve put a couple of approaches in for players because we do need a few more heads in,” said Elliston.

“I can confirm that we’ve just signed Lee Pleasance on loan for the foreseeable future, a player I’ve brought with me and know from Burnham.

“Lee goes straight into the squad and is a good technical player who has experience at Ryman level.

“He’s been in and out of the Burnham squad and wants to play games and I hope we can get one or two more players from them in.”

Today’s opponents FC Clacton are also in the lower reaches of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division yet picked up a creditable 3-3 draw against Felixstowe & Walton United last week in what was Yearling’s managerial debut for the Seasiders.

“I’m looking forward to the game,” confirmed Elliston.

“It’s a good chance to see the players in a match and there will be no pressure on them.

“I’ve told them I expect three things – 110% effort, to listen to advice they’ll be given and to play with a smile on their face.

“As long as the players can do that, I think that’ll be slight progress.”

Elliston continued: “Clacton have a new manager as well so will be up for the game.

“It’ll be like a cup final out there and played at 110 miles per hour for the first ten minutes but it’ll settle down and should be a good game.”

Elliston has a near fully-fit squad to choose from for the eagerly-anticipated encounter with midfielder Tom Trevivian facing a late fitness test.

The Woodpeckers will also shortly be boosted by the return to the first-team fold of striker James Hubbard.

Hubbard has been on the sidelines with a broken arm sustained earlier in the season but returned to light training this week.

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