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Harrowby United will play Stamford AFC for the Pete Down Memorial Cup

Harrowby United will lock horns with former manager Graham Drury in their opening pre-season friendly tonight (Tuesday).

Drury will be bringing his Stamford side - who play in the Southern League Premier Division Central - to the JRL Brickwork Stadium to play for the Pete Down Memorial Cup.

It is the first outing for the Arrows as they prepare for life as a step five club after winning promotion to the United Counties League Premier Division North via the play-offs last season.

Manager Graham Drury. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Manager Graham Drury. Photo: Rob O'Brien

Jamie McGhee's men have been back in pre-season training ahead of the start of the new league campaign on July 27.

McGhee said: "We are now well into the swing of things pre-season wise. The players have been really putting in the hard work during every training session.

"We're ready to get going and we can't wait to get started playing step five football."

The Arrows are expected to have some new faces on show during their friendlies but McGhee won't be making wholesale changes to his promoted squad.

He added: "I've been really pleased with the training group.

"The new player additions we have made have been really positive, not just in terms of the quality they have brought, but also the way they have integrated in with the current players.

"The way the current players have responded and welcomed in the new lads has been equally as positive and pleasing to see.

"I've made the decision not to make massive changes though. A couple of players have moved on and this inevitably is the nature of football.

"I'm naturally always looking for new players and personalities to improve the squad and so far I believe we're right on target with the type of players I want to bring in to help strengthen the squad."

Harry Allcock and Jack Gurney. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Harry Allcock and Jack Gurney. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper

The Arrows have retained the services of goalkeeper Jake Frestle, defensive lynchpin Kemal Yenibertiz, skipper Jack Gurney and top scorer Harry Allcock.

However, the long-serving Mathias Amponsem has departed the Arrows due to family and work commitments with McGhee full of praise for the player.

He commented: "MT has been a true example of consistency and I can honestly say that he's been an absolute pleasure to know as a person.

"His loyalty, not just to the club but me personally, has been unquestionable and he has gone from strength to strength as a footballer and can be proud of his achievements."

After the match against Stamford, the Arrows will then tackle United Counties League Premier Division North rivals Sleaford Town in the South Kesteven Charity Cup on Saturday.

A trip to Northern Premier League East Division side Carlton Town has been organised for Tuesday, July 16.

James Hicks.
James Hicks.

The Arrows will then be in action again on Saturday, July 20, in the South Kesteven Charity Cup against either Grantham Town or Deeping Rangers.

Former Arrows boss Drury has added 11 new recruits to his Stamford squad ahead of their second season as a step three club.

Attacker James Hicks returned to the club over the weekend while Stamford have also signed Tobias Liversidge after a prolific spell with Lincoln United last season.

Dutchman Cuba Meyer has also been to their ranks after spending last season in the National League North with Peterborough Sports.

The 21-year-old joined the Turbines after spells in his homeland as a youth with both Zeeburgia and Emmen, the latter who play in the second tier of Dutch football.

Goalkeepers Tom Jackson and Will Lakin have already committed to the club along with six other outfield players.

Jordon Cook has returned to the Zeeco Stadium along with newcomers Ollie Clark, Charlie Marzano, Luke Redfern, Jack Holmes and Ethan Young.

Manager Drury has also retained the services of a number of players from last season's squad.

Skipper Rob Morgan, James Blunden, Will Glennon, Harry Vince, Jack Duffy, Lee Shaw, Tendai Chitiza, Joe Burgess, Connor Bartle, Billy Bennett, Mike Armstrong, Tom Siddons, Jon Challinor and Michael Frew will all be back next season.

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