It’s that time of year again. The time when as a football fan, you can start planning your life around football again. The time when even though you know the majority of the rumours you hear are untrue, there’s still that small part inside of you that hopes there is some truth within them.
As a Wycombe fan, we have had our fair share of rumours this summer. Two of which have finally been settled. Joel Grant and Dave Winfield, two of our most influential players last season, have both got a move to a higher division. Joel has a ridiculous amount of ability and the knack of scoring great goals, however whether he will be able to make the step up with Yeovil in the Championship remains to be seen, but I wish him the best of luck.
Dave is nothing but a born leader, and last season he showed that. He vastly improved his overall game and his physical presence will be hugely missed, not only on the pitch but by the ladies in the stands I’m sure. Again, whether he can handle the step up in division remains to be seen but Shrewsbury have got themselves a good player and I wish him the best too.
I believe there is a sense of optimism around Wycombe Wanderers at the moment. Both on and off the field, the club are recovering and re-building after several years of mismanagement.
The Wycombe Wanderers Trust will be the first to acknowledge there is still plenty more to be done at the club, but the way in which they have come in and turned a club on a downward spiral, to a club which is now looking onwards and upwards is a fantastic achievement.
Manager Gareth Ainsworth has played a huge role in turning our fortunes around. His passion for football and for the club is there for everyone to see and it’s these features which made him such a respected figure as a football player.
The gap between players and fans is almost non-existent and I believe it’s this spirit and togetherness which will make for a successful campaign.
I think this season we have to start with all guns blazing and I’m sure that will be the message Gareth will be getting across to the players. A woeful start to last season cost us any hope of making the play-offs, let alone the automatic promotion places. If it was not for such a bad start last season, we would have been in and around the play-off places.
Compared to most teams in this league, we have an incredibly young squad, but a squad that is hungry to learn and achieve and is proud to represent Wycombe.
Our starting XI last season mainly consisted of players that were in our youth team the season before. Going into this campaign, some of them now have 30-40 games behind them, which can only be to our advantage.
We do also have experienced pros such as Gary Doherty, Leon Johnson, Matt Spring and Jo Kuffour, who will be able to support the younger lads.
I believe that the play-offs are a realistic aim for us this season, we’ve got a squad that can match most in this division and if we can sign a striker before the end of the transfer window, we have every chance of a successful season.
Come on you Chairboys!