By Connor Steel
FLEETLANDS FC have started preparations for their upcoming Wessex League Division One campaign for 2022-23 as they celebrate their seventy-five years in existence; the club announcing that several key players have re-signed new contracts to stay at Lederle Lane alongside fresher faces and further releasing a list of pre-season friendlies to be held later this summer.
With the non-league transfer ‘window’ opening on Wednesday (June 1) the Coptermen were busy on their social media platforms, first announcing that Callum Dart has signed a new deal until 2023. The number 10 was a big component for the team last season as he scored and assisted many goals as Fleetlands finished fifth in the Hampshire Premier League alongside passing a stadium grading test; becoming provisionally promoted as they wait final ratification from the FA.
The Coptermen followed this up with the news that goalkeeper Joe Boxall and Daniel Clasby had joined Dart to commit their services to the club, whilst signing the experienced Baz Snelling will be key to Fleetlands’ first ever journey into this particular level of non-league football having played for a range of other clubs across steps five and six during his footballing career.
But their arguably biggest signing so far has been the capture of Kai Sterne, which was confirmed by the club earlier today (June 2). The striker and winger has joined from local side Fareham Town where he impressed in several league appearances in the league alongside cup competitions as the Creeksiders reached the Wessex Cup back in late April; where they lost two-one to Shaftesbury.
Alongside the announcement of these signings, Fleetlands released details of a provisional pre-season calendar with the new season set to start in August; starting with a home clash versus Wessex League Premier favourites Horndean on July 5. An away friendly will then be played four days later, but their opposition is yet to be confirmed with arrangements persisting behind the scenes.
On July 16 the Coptermen will host Bemerton Heath in a double header encounter; with both the first team and reserves side of each team playing that afternoon. Seven days later Bosham FC (from Sussex) will visit Lederle Lane, with the last friendly seeing the Coptermen go to Storrington on July 30 before the scheduled start of league or FA Cup Extra Preliminary round action on August 6.
Further announcements of new signings and midweek friendlies, alongside the release of league fixtures, will likely come over the next few weeks; with fans asked to visit the official Fleetlands website or social media platforms for more information when confirmed by the club.
PICTURED BY FLEETLANDS FC: Kai Sterne is announced as new signing to the club for 2022-23 season.