Same faces will be the force for Wellingborough this season

Wellingborough beat Coalville in last season's Midlands Two play-off

Wellingborough beat Coalville in last season's Midlands Two play-off

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Coach George Shipman believes the players who took Wellingborough up into Midlands One East can keep them there this season.

Boro last season went up from Midlands Two East (South) via the play-offs with a 36-20 win at Coalville.

Shipman reports there have been few changes during the summer and hooker Richard Shannon is likely to be the only new face in the starting XV when Boro kick off the new season at Bedford Athletic on Saturday.

He said: “We’ve got a couple of players stepping up from the Colts, but the side that starts the match on Saturday will be very similar to the one that finished last season.

“We’ve kept the side together and now we’re looking to build on what we did last season.

“We’ve been developing this group of players for a couple of years and if we play at the level we know we are capable of – and do it consistently – there’s no reason why we can’t be competitive and still be in this league at the end of the season.

“We are familiar with several of the teams – such as Old Scouts and Newbold – and they are in the same position as us.

“They are new to this league and we have to get the performances right when we play against them.

“We know we have to target certain games in this league and the results of those games will decide who struggles this season and who’s safe.”

Shipman says staying in the league is his side’s target this season and believes home form could be crucial.

He said: “We know there are going to be some difficult away games in this league, so we have to be picking up points at home – especially against the teams who are in the same position as us.”

And Shipman said of the the match at Bedford: “It’s a good way for us to start. This will be Bedford’s second or third season in this league, so this is a chance for us to see where we are and how well pre-season has gone.”

Shipman admits his side have picked up more injuries than we would have liked in pre-season but added: “We should have a couple more players back for next week.”