City ‘more than capable’ of shocking a few says skipper

PUBLISHED: 10:09 16 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:12 16 August 2018

Danny Payne of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Danny Payne of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Danny Payne is more than convinced that Welwyn Garden City have what it takes to do more than just survive as their Southern League adventure finally gets under way.

The Citizens have had to wait one week more than their Isthmian League colleagues and two more than the National League sides before starting their historic first-ever season at step four, reward for winning the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division.

And the skipper of the Herns Lane-based football club is confident that they will surprise one or two.

“I think the lads we’ve got are more than capable of playing at step four,” he said.

“We showed that last year with how easily we won the league. To win it with eight games to go was pretty special.

“It’s down to us now to prove we can play at that level and not just go there and be the whipping boys.

“We’re going in there determined to show what we can do.”

Saturday’s first encounter, at home to Didcot Town, is a perfect example of what City can expect over the coming nine months, with plenty of new faces and unknown quantities providing the opposition.

It is not something, however, that fazes the combatitive midfielder who insists they are ready.

He said: “We know it isn’t going to be like last year in terms of winning every week. We have to be able to react to defeats because we know we are going to get to lose games.

“It’s about being able to show character and respond.

“It is new territory for us as a group. It’s new territory for the boys, for Adam, and hopefully we’ll get to grips with it and have a positive season.”

They warmed up for it with the perfect performance and result in their final pre-season game.

The 4-0 win came at AFC Dunstable, one of WGC’s divisional rivals this season, and the Citizens were in sparkling form.

They were 3-0 by half-time, Jon Clements converting a Jon Sexton pass with a trademark finish, and then new signing Tony Williams bagging two.

The fourth arrived on the hour.

Another accurate George Ironton set-piece found Rolfe peeling away on the back post.

His header was planted on the woodwork but the rebound fell to Jay Lovell who crowned his return to Herns Lane on loan from Hendon with the finish.

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