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Salford City football Club

Previews

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Tom King in training ahead of the Sky Bet League Two kick-off against Leyton OrientSalford City’s 2021-22 League Two campaign gets underway this weekend at home to Leyton Orient.

After a solid pre-season against varying levels of opposition including Burnley, Derby County and Lincoln City, Gary Bowyer’s men will be excited to launch their domestic challenge.

New addition Tom King is looking forward to making his competitive debut for Salford in between the sticks. The 26-year-old joins us from last year’s play-off finalists Newport County and is relishing the opportunity to get going at The Peninsula Stadium.

“As far as pre-seasons go, that was a really good one, just excited to get the real stuff started now. It’s been great getting to know my new teammates and coaching staff, and the few days we had training in Oxford were really positive in understanding each other on a more personal level.”

Last year Salford recorded the most clean sheets in the league, with Václav Hladký winning the golden glove. The Welsh shot-stopper is far from deterred by the challenge of having big gloves to fill.

“Anyone you speak to knows that Vác played a huge part last season and I’m going to be looking to carry that on throughout this season. The strengths of the four in front of me go without saying, we’ve included Liam (Shephard) who’s come with me from Newport, he’s a really good defender and the other three speak for themselves.”

Brandon Thomas-Asante and Robbie Gotts walk off the pitch after winning the game for Salford against Leyton Orient.It is an identical fixture to last year’s final match in which Salford came away 3-0 winners, a seemingly recurring scoreline between the two sides. The Ammies have won 3-0 on two separate occasions in two different stadiums, having won by the same margin at Brisbane Road in 2019. The Ammies will be hoping to get off to a flying start and record their first three points of this year on Saturday.

“The preparation has been first class, we’re well prepared like we will be for every game and we have to take every game as it comes.

“This game will be no different to the games that are following in terms that we won’t be looking too far ahead and we’re not going to be looking too far behind and hopefully that will accumulate to what we want by the end of the season.”

Leyton Orient

The Os were in and around the top seven towards the back end of last season before a string of bad results running up to the final day stunted them to finish 11th, 12 points adrift of the play-off spots.

Orient fans said goodbye to one of their cult heroes at the end of last season when Jobi McAnuff confirmed his retirement from football. Under the stewardship of the late Justin Edinburgh, McAnuff captained Orient to their first league title in 50 years, earning promotion back to the Football League. The former Jamaica international stepped into the role of interim manager in February, preceding the current manager Kenny Jackett

Experienced manager Jackett has since bolstered the London side’s attack, bringing forwards Paul Smyth, Aaron Drinan and Harry Smith to Brisbane Road over the summer. A new look strike force should hope to inspire a promotion charge and an away win at league hopefuls Salford would be an excellent start.

The pre-season campaign pitted Orient against some local Premier League opposition, with a goalless draw at home to West Ham and a 1-1 draw to a reasonably strong Spurs side.

With a host of new signings, a new manager at the helm and the bit between their teeth after last year’s stagnant finish, The Os should pose a challenge at Moor Lane. Keep an eye out for Orient in the table as they will be aiming to play in League One next year.

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