"Firstly I'd like to welcome everyone to the new season, I am once again happy with how pre-season preparations have gone and am now looking forward to the season ahead.

I think the first thing to announce is the re-signing of all of last seasons squad, following last seasons 10th place in the league and Middx Charity Cup final win. I am very proud that even though many of our squad were persisently offered deals by other clubs, they have remained loyal to the club for the forthcoming season.

We are currently at full fitness and will be ready for next Saturday's tough opener away to Cambridge City.

We also welcome new players into the first team starting with forward James Cottee (who joins from Westfield), forward Jabir Laraba (Kensington Borough), midfielder Yahya El-Kabouche (Kensington Borough/Corinthian-Casuals), defender Elliott Poley (Staines Town Academy), winger Jamal Harvey (AFC Dunstable/Harpenden Town), defender Charlie Cahill (Wheeling Jesuit University - USA) and also goalkeeper Jake Tayler who returns after a spell out.

These players provide the much needed competition for places within the first team and I am sure you will join me in welcoming them to the club for the season ahead.

We have also been actively looking at progressing the club's youth players throughout pre-season. Last seasons Youth Team Player of the Year Nathan Pooley has been in good form and we have also given 16 year-old, first year youth players Harry Salmon (midfielder), Dan Mash (defender) and Leo Decabo (midfielder) opportunities, with Harry impressing in the second half against Woking XI, both Harry & Dan coming on against FC Deportivo Galacia and Leo on the bench for the abandoned game against South Park. We will continue to give opportunities to youth players throughout the season in training and matches. It's important that it's part of the 'Ashford Way'.

I have also added to our managerial staff for the season with Steve Honey joining as First Team Goalkeeper coach and Andy Smith joining as Under 18s Head Coach.

Steve has a great rapport with the group already and has progressed the keepers well during pre-season. He's great to have on board and has full control of goalkeeper training throughout the senior club.

My intention for this season was to manage both the First Team and Youth Team together but logistically that can be difficult as at times both teams will be training or playing at the same time.

I had a chat with Andy and he straight away showed me that he has the enthusiasm and passion to be a great asset to this club. I feel it's important to have a constant within the 18s and he fits perfectly. I have worked with the majority of our new youth players for over 4 years so know them well and will continue to develop and progress them with the First Team in mind through training and matches alongside Andy who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the group and once he has settled in with he will take lead in training sessions and matches. I am looking forward to having Andy on board with us in the management team for the season ahead.

Finally, on behalf of the players and management I would like to thank all those who contributed to our new home changing room, the work done in there is fantastic and it really does make a difference to us all."