05 July 2012

Return ticket to Essex on opening day of term

Source This is Cornwall, by Rhod Mitchell

Truro City are set to return to pre-season training tonight, a day after the release of the 2012-13 Blue Square Bet South fixtures.

City visit newly promoted Essex side Billericay Town on Saturday, August 18, the opening day of Truro's second season in the Conference South division.

City manager Lee Hodges was born in Essex – Epping – and the 38-year-old will be heading back to his home county on the opening day for a second successive season.

Hodges said: "Last season we went to Chelmsford on the opening day, for our first ever fixture in the Conference, and we won 1-0.

"Hopefully it's a good omen again but we know that Billericay are going to be full of confidence – like we were – after winning promotion, and they will want to do well in front of their home fans on the opening day."

City then return to Treyew Road for back-to-back home league games against Havant & Waterlooville (Tuesday, August 21) and Salisbury City (Saturday, August 25).

Hodges added: "Obviously, it will be nice to be playing back at home and the fact we've got a couple of games in a week is good. The fact we play three games in the first week let's you know you are up and running, and seeing the fixtures has brought all of that home to me.

"Last season we made a great start – we won our first three games – and that's probably what kept us up in the end.

"This time around, we know what the league is like and just how tough it is going to be," the City chief added.

"Obviously, playing someone like Bath City is a big game for us and the supporters and shows just how far we have come. I am sure we will get a big crowd in for that one when they visit in October.

"It will be nice to be at home for two of the three games over Christmas, it's just a bit of a shame we start and finish the season away, but you can't have it all and, like I said, the busy spell over Christmas is not too bad as either side of it we are at Salisbury and Dorchester."

Dorchester are Boxing Day visitors to Treyew Road with the return trip to The Avenue on New Year's Day, Tuesday January 1.

Hodges concluded: "The spell over Christmas is always an exciting time, because the games come thick and fast, but obviously my priority now is getting the lads back in and ready for the opening game at Billericay."

Hodges is hopeful of lining up a pre-season friendly on Saturday, August 11, a week before City kick off their Conference campaign.

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