Craig's Confidence

WAGGA MOON has reasons to be cheerful

Things appear to be a lot brighter at Victoria Park with a lot of the dead wood removed from the club and a young manager looking forward to big things.

Craig Hignett still has it all to prove after losing four on the trot at the end of last season, something a good manager would never do but he deserves to be given a chance with his own players. There has been a new twist in recruitment this summer, with no marquee signing being brought in such as Nobby Solano, Steve Howard or Robbie Elliott. Which, on past experience, is probably a good thing.

Hignett has gone down the non-League route for new players, with signings from the National League. This could either be a masterstroke or a passport to play in the National League next year. We will have to back Hignett's judgment and hope he has done his homework on the new men. First reports are they useful players and will greatly improve our team for the season ahead.

After the last few years of neglect and apathy under IOR it is about time we had something to cheer at the Vic. The two additions I most welcome are Tommy Miller Senior and Rob Jones. Our scouting network has never been the same since Tommy left and he will be a big bonus for us. Rob Jones although getting on a bit is just the sort of tough experienced centre back we need - loads of experience and knows the lower divisions like the back of his hand. And he will probably get plenty of games seeing that Sicknote Bates is still around.
"After the last few years of neglect and apathy under IOR it is about time we had something to cheer at the Vic."

The two I am glad to see the back of are Russ Green and Luke James. Green should have been sacked over the John Hughes debacle, the signing, firing and refusal to speak to him when he needed reinforcements. And the unpaid tax bill a few weeks ago was hardly his finest hour. Unfortunately from reports I have heard from within Victoria Park, this might not be the last we have heard of young Russ. And it is not good things that are going to come out.

James, after going on strike to get away from the club, returned on loan last season and was unable to find the net apart from snatching the ball off Brad Walker to score a penalty. Apparently we baulked at his wage demands to join us on loan this season and he moved to Bristol Rovers on loan. The money we would have laid out on him would be far better invested on someone who knows where the net is. Good luck to Darrell Clarke in trying to get some goals out of the perennial non-scorer, allegedly one of the reasons why Darren Ferguson lost his job at Peterborough.

This is a make or break season for Brad Walker, who really needs to push on and get a regular place, hopefully joined by Kieran Green who appears to have come on leaps and bound in pre-season training. The strike force appears to be stronger than for a few years with Billy Paynter, Padraig Amond and Lewis Allessandra, good journeyman pros with experience in League Two, with Rhys Oates and Jake Orrell in reserve.

In Trevor Carson we have probably the best keeper in League Two and it is the back four, as in the last couple of years, that could be our biggest problem. However with Carl Magnay settling in at right back and Rob Jones in the centre we look a lot stronger than usual. Although we are not the finished article, I would like to see a wide right attacker and a Richie Wellens or Jonjo O'Toole type midfielder to give us some more experience.

I see a steady as you go sort of season with us finishing around 11th unless we have a lot more investment in the January transfer window. The money we were supposed to have from the TV games and James transfer fee seems to have evaporated with no likelihood of any cash going on players.