Neil Smith talks pre-season
Neil Smith talks pre-season

Following Bromley’s 0-0 draw with a young Fulham XI yesterday afternoon, Ravens boss Neil Smith caught up with Kent Sports News to give his thoughts on pre-season preparation so far.

“There’s a lot of work to be done in pre-season” says Smith “but I felt we acquitted ourselves well against Fulham, it was a good game in which everyone got the 45 minutes that I wanted them to. We kept a clean sheet and had a couple of goals disallowed”.

Smith used the game against Fulham to give a debut to several of his new signings, Michael Cheek and Chris Bush (Ebbsfleet), Mark Cousins (Barnet) , Korey Henry (Braintree), Billy Bingham (Gillingham), Reeco Hackett-Fairchild (Charlton) and  Adrian Cllifton (Maidenhead).

Joe Kizzi, (Billericay), however, did not feature as the versatile defender was deemed to have what Smith described as “a little knock not worth risking for 45 minutes in a pre-season game”.

The second half of the Fulham game saw Bromley change their entire starting line-up with several of the U23s and academy players getting a run-out. Yet none of the players appeared over-awed by the occasion which was something Smith was eager to highlight and celebrate

“I have to say the growth of our academy is one of the biggest pluses of this club in the last few years, before the game our U18s played Crystal Palace and they won 3-0. Today we had Ollie Tanner, Spencer Cripps, Brefo and Briggs Ojemen play the second half”.

He continued, “yes we’ve had a load of new signings but I want that to be integrated with our young players coming through just like Jack Holland did and Jordan Higgs”.

When pressed on whether he was still looking at further additions given the volume of talented trialists on show, Smith was measured in response “this game was about looking at some trialists but also about making connections with Fulham and seeing what talent they have coming through”.

He added, “we made loan signings last season that worked but am I actively looking, no. Could I make more signings? well that’s a possibility”

Bromley have been the subject of plenty pre-season play-off talk but Smith refuses to be drawn on that continually stressing that the target first and foremost is to better last season’s performance.

Having finished 10th, 9th and 12th in his three seasons in charge Smith has assembled a squad that he feels can improve the standing of the football club.

Bromley will play their next pre-season friendly on Tuesday night when they welcome several familiar faces in the form of Welling United, kick off 745pm.