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Devonshire confident Maidenhead United squad will be competitive, but 'only time will tell'

Shaun Donnellan. Photo Darren Woolley.

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Alan Devonshire is confident the squad he’s assembled over the summer will be competitive in the National League, but despite the players gelling well in training and pre-season matches, he can’t yet be sure that will be the case.

The season is due to get underway on October 3 with a trip to Sutton United and the Magpies have been building up nicely to the new campaign in pre-season.

They’ve won two of their three pre-season matches so far and got the better of Hampton & Richmond Borough 3-2 in the latest of them on Saturday afternoon, new signings Sam Barratt and Danilo Orsi-Dadomo (two) on the scoresheet in a feisty friendly encounter.

The departure of several key players from last season’s squad has forced Devonshire into another summer rebuild, with eight or nine new faces arriving to replace them.

It gives the side a potentially exciting blend of experience and youthful talent and now it’s up to Devonshire and assistant boss Ryan Peters to get the most from them. Once again Maidenhead will have one of the smaller squads in the division and with games being packed into a shorter season, luck with injuries could well determine how well the Magpies go.

“Only time will tell, we’ve got a lot of new players, so it all depends on how they react and how they mix,” said Devonshire on Monday. “Injuries will also play a part as well. The squad looks good at the moment, but that’s just on paper. We’ve kept many of the side from last season and I’d like to think we’ve added to the quality of the squad, but time will tell.

“It’s a hard league as you know. Especially with these strange times we’ve got now. We’ve got a game on Saturday, Tuesday, then the Saturday against Hartlepool and then we go to Wrexham on the Monday night. I was quite surprised to see we were playing 48 hours later. The bigger clubs will always have an advantage in that.

“But, listen, we’re happy with what we’ve got so far and we’re just looking forward to the start of the season to see how we go.”

Devonshire added: “I’m quite pleased with the way things have gone so far, but until the games start you don’t know where you are really. I want us to get sharper as the season goes on but hopefully, we won’t be too far away at the start of the season.

“If the squad stays fit, we should do ok, but as I know playing at this level a lot of it is down to luck with injuries. There’s a good atmosphere in the group and you need that to be successful. But it’s all conjecture at the moment.”

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Maidenhead United last week confirmed its ticketing arrangements for the upcoming season, despite the ongoing uncertainty over whether the campaign will start as planned or behind closed doors.

The gold and silver ticket memberships went on sale from Monday morning, and more than a hundred were snapped up in the first few days, prior to the Government’s announcement that fans may not be able to return to matches as planned.

With the season potentially only a couple of weeks away, and the players now back in pre-season training, the club took the decision to put tickets on sale, even though restrictions brought in this week mean there's a very real chance the season will begin behind closed doors or much later than first planned.

There are two tiers of members, the gold membership which will provide entry to the club’s 23 home league matches, subject to the games going ahead and capacity restrictions, and free access to watch live streams of all home games should matches be moved behind closed doors for a period. There are other benefits including five free match day programmes via the MatchDayInfo App, a monthly 150 Club newsletter, 12 months of membership to the Maidenhead United 150 Club Rewards Programme, providing discounts on shopping, holiday, travel and leisure activities. This membership is £199 (£8.65 per game) for adult standing and £268 (£11.65) for adult seated for existing season ticket holders. See the club’s website for full details and concession prices. It is £209 for adult standing and £288 for adult seated for new gold memberships. The number of gold memberships will be limited to 400 at the start of the season, 340 standing and 60 seated.

The benefits of being a silver Maidenhead United 150 Club member will include priority access to purchase discounted tickets on a match by match basis throughout the season, 50 per cent discount on livestreamed home games, five free match day programmes, the monthly newsletter and 12 months of membership to the Maidenhead United 150 Club rewards programme. The price is £40 for adults, £25 for concessions and £10 for juniors u16s. Silver members will be able to purchase tickets for themselves and other members at £12 for adult standing, £8 for concession standing and £3 for junior standing, £15 for adult seated, £11 for concession seated and £6 for junior seated.

The Maidenhead 150 Club memberships are non-refundable. This applies in all circumstances and includes the season being cancelled or matches taking place behind closed doors.

For more information visit https://maidenheadunitedfc.ktckts.com/

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