New man at the helm for Blues

Tom Bridgeman is Kettering's new club captain
Tom Bridgeman is Kettering's new club captain

Kettering kick off their campaign on Saturday with a new man leading them out on to the pitch.

For the last few seasons Chris Chapman has been their captain but injury has forced him to retire.

His place has been taken by Tom Bridgeman who is relishing the challenge ahead.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “I was vice-captain to Chris last year so I’ve had a taste of what is to come.

“Unfortunately Chris has had to retire so I won’t have his experience to fall back on on the pitch but he is helping a lot off it.”

If he is new to the role of captain, Bridgeman is certainly not new to the team having been a long-established key man within the side.

And, after their efforts last year in a campaign that saw them go unbeaten in the first 12 matches before falling off the pace after Christmas, he feels the Blues are now in a position to challenge at the top.

“I would be lying if I said we weren’t going out to win the league,” he stated.

“We’ve lost a couple of players but we have good strength in depth and I think we’ll be competitive.

“There are only a couple of sides in the division that we didn’t do the double over last year so we really feel we can go better this time around.

“We’ve all come through the club together, we’re all mates and that means a lot.”

As for this weekend’s opponents Newark, he expects a battle.

“They are always a tough outfit,” he added. “They struggled last year but I’m not sure how.

“They always seem to be up for playing us!”

The club have a special guest visiting on Sunday when England World Cup winner Jason Robinson will be present at registration day. He is expected at around 12.30pm.