Barnstaple Town’s 2015-16 Toolstation Western League season prospects

NDJ

LIAM CURTIS assesses Barnstaple Town’s prospects in the new Toolstation Western League Premier Division season.

BARNSTAPLE Town were outstanding last season but, tomorrow, the real hard work starts.

The 2014-15 squad smashed 14 records in winning the Toolstation Western League First Division title.

In defence they were faultless and in attack they were ruthless – but that’s all history.

Now Barry Yeo’s men will come up against teams of equal ambition and quality.

The Premier Division’s sixth-placed side, Willand Rovers, proved their worth with a 3-0 victory over Barnstaple in the Les Phillips Cup final at the end of last season.

However, in Yeo, who helped Ilfracombe Town to two third-place finishes in the division, they have more than enough experience to aim high.

Centre-backs James Mayne and Aaron Harper-Penman, and striker Dave Pearse, give the team a host of wise heads.

And pulsing through the veins is young, exciting talent which Yeo has injected with a “fear no one” attitude.

Survival is paramount. Other than that, following a promising pre-season and managing to keep the Record Breakers together, Barnstaple have potential to do much better.

Pre-season: Launceston (H) W 2-0, Exmouth (A) L 2-0, Wellington (A) W 2-0, Exeter City XI (H) W 3-1, Tiverton Tn (A) W 1-0, Bridgwater Tn (H) L 2-1, Taunton Tn (A) L 3-1.

Players in: Niall Heeney, Steve Oliver, Dominic Rivans.

Players out: Ryan Draper (retired).

Toolstation Western League Premier Division fixtures – Aug 8: Bradford Tn (H). Aug 12: Willand Rov (A). Aug 19: Buckland Ath (A). Aug 22: Shepton Mallet (A). Aug 29: Gillingham Tn (A). Sep 1: Street (H). Sep 5: Bristol MF (A). Sep 12: Melksham Tn (A). Sep 15: Street (A). Sep 19: Cribbs (H). Sep 26: Sherborne Tn (H). Oct 10: Welton Rov (A). Oct 13: Clevedon Tn (H). Oct 17: Bridport (A). Oct 24: Hallen (A). Nov 7: Bristol MF (H). Nov 21: Bitton (A). Nov 28: Bradford Tn (A). Dec 5: Willand Rov (H). Dec 12: Winterbourne Utd (H). Dec 19: Cadbury Heath (H). Jan 2: Odd Down (A). Jan 9: Brislington (H). Jan 16: Melksham Tn (H). Jan 23: Cadbury Heath (A). Jan 30: Bitton (H). Feb 6: Brislington (A). Feb 13: Longwell Green Spts (A). Feb 20: Shepton Mallet (H). Feb 27: Sherborne Tn (A). Mar 5: Winterbourne Utd (A). Mar 12: Clevedon Tn (A). Mar 19: Hallen (H). Mar 28: Buckland Ath (H). Apr 2: Longwell Green Spts (H). Apr 9: Cribbs (A). Apr 16: Gillingham Tn (H). Apr 23: Welton Rov (H). Apr 30: Odd Down (H).

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