Vanarama National League Fan Preview

League sponsors Vanarama have been getting the fans’ perspective ahead of the new season – which kicks off this Saturday. Aldershot fan Brady Hill goes under the sponsors’ microscope!

It’s getting rather close now! So what have the Shots fans got to look forward to?

There is an exciting period ahead for Aldershot Town. The additions of Danny Searle and Anwar Uddin look to have brought a breath of fresh air to the club and the fans have every reason to be excited. Furthermore, the additions of Mitch Walker, Dean Rance and Connor Shields could prove to be key signings for Aldershot this season. Not to forget the re-signings of George Fowler and Lewis Kinsella who have both been key parts of the Aldershot team since their arrivals.

What a rollercoaster summer it’s been for the club! Sum up the last few months.

The last few months have been frustrating for the club. After one of our worst seasons since reformation in 1992, every fan had the right to feel concerned. Matters didn’t get any better when we wouldn’t know what league we would be in until June 8. However, since then things have been looking more and more promising as we get closer to the new season. As soon as Danny Searle was announced as the new manager everything seemed to get better. We managed to sign some good, promising players that are looking to prove themselves and now we look to be in a better position than we have for a long time.

It seems you are confident Danny Searle is the man to push the club forward. How impressed are you with his signings?

From the moment he stepped in at Braintree he looked to rejuvenate their squad. Picking results up against Leyton Orient and AFC Fylde highlighted this. I’m confident that he can have the same impact on us that he had on that Braintree side and take us up the league table. I am really happy with the signings that he has made.

What is the most crucial signing the club have made this summer?

Bringing in Danny Searle. His ideas and philosophy should bring a new dynamic to how we play and should provide some exciting attacking football. As far as players go, I would say that the signing of Robbie Tinkler along with the re-signing of George Fowler.

What changes will we see from the Aldershot side of 2018-19?

The main difference for this season will be our mentality. Danny Searle has signed a group of players that will give everything for the club and will work tirelessly to get the win. Unlike last season where once we conceded, our heads seemed to drop, and we would then concede two or three more at times. Another difference will be in our defence.

Who will catch the eye for Aldershot this season?

For me it has to be Ethan Chislett. He was crucial to the Met Police side that narrowly missed out on promotion from the eight-tier and will prove to be a big asset for us. His style of play could see him rack up a lot of assists and he could prove to be a handful for the opposition. He may not jump straight into the starting line-up but under Danny Searle he will only improve and I can see him becoming the first choice on the team sheet towards the end of the season.

Who are the other sides to watch out for and could be in the promotion mix? 

For me it has to be Bromley. They have had a big summer, signing some great players like Mark Cousins, Reece Hackett-Fairchild and Billy Bingham. These three signings are very good for Bromley and will prove their worth over the next season. It will not surprise me to see them battling for the play-offs this year. Barnet are another side that I reckon will be up there at the end of the season – I can see them being in the title picture.

What ground are you most looking forward to visiting and why?

I am looking forward to going to Notts County’s Meadow Lane. It would be a new ground for me, it is a very big stadium for Non-League and Notts County are a massive club. I can only imagine that the atmosphere will be great, and it would be a good away day.

And what game would you like to win more than any other?

It’s got to be the derby match away to Woking. You always want to have the better of your local rivals and it is a great feeling knowing that your team has the better of them. Also, it will be played on matchday two this year so it would be great to get off to a decent start after a couple of games and build on from there.

What opposition player would you most like to borrow for a season?

Danny Rowe – the man is a goal scoring machine. Aldershot have lacked a goalscorer ever since Brett Williams’ 28-goal season, so to have a striker like Danny would be fantastic. What makes him so good is his ability to finish the ball from almost anywhere. If you give him space, he will punish any team and his goal record since joining AFC Fylde speaks for itself.

Solihull Moors surprised a lot of people last season with a title push. Who do you think could be a dark horse this time around?

I’d say the dark horse for this season is Torquay United. Recently promoted from the National League South, they look set to surprise a few. Jamie Reid was unstoppable last season and I can see him doing well again this time around. They also managed to keep hold of manager Gary Johnson, which in my opinion is massive for them.

Finally, the key question and you are on the spot – predict your finishing position! 

After the nightmare season last time out we will be looking to do much better this time around. We have made some very good signings and the new manager will bring some fresh ideas and tactics to the team. Whilst promotion is highly unrealistic, I do think we will be clear of a relegation battle this time around – my prediction is 14th.

Vanarama, the leading van leasing brand in the UK, have recently launched the National League Club Reward Scheme to help fans back their club’s budget. Every time a fan takes out a brand new van lease with Vanarama or a brand new car lease with Motorama their club will earn £100 and you will receive £30 cashback.

For the latest van leasing deals, head to Vanarama.  

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