Wings look to soar on Conference Premier return

PUBLISHED: 12:33 07 August 2013 | UPDATED: 12:33 07 August 2013

Welling captain Lee Clarke lifts the Conference South trophy at the end of last season. Pic by Keith Gillard

Welling captain Lee Clarke lifts the Conference South trophy at the end of last season. Pic by Keith Gillard

(C)2013 Keith Gillard, all rights reserved

Saturday is the day Welling United fans have been looking forward to for the last three months – it’s the start of the Conference Premier season.

It will be the club’s first fixture at this level since the Wings were relegated in 1999/2000.

And what a way to start the season, with a trip to last term’s losing play-off finalists Wrexham.

It has been a mixed pre-season campaign, with four wins, four defeats and three draws, but the players, management and fans alike are raring to go for a crack at the big boys such as Luton Town, Cambridge United and Grimsby Town.

Recent years have been a rollercoaster ride for Welling – from the brink of bankruptcy in 2010 to champions in April.

The core of last season’s squad has signed on for another year, including top scorer Ross Lafayette, long-serving wing-back Loui Fazakerley and goalkeeper Sam Mott.

Fazakerley, the club’s longest serving player, said: “I can’t wait to get started. It’s a new challenge for the club and for me, I’ve never played at this level.

“We’ll be expected to struggle after promotion but we’re confident within the camp.

“It will be a baptism of fire against a strong team like Wrexham but hopefully we can surprise a few people.”

There have been a number of additions who player-boss Jamie Day hopes will make an impression. They include defender Doug Bergqvist on loan from Exeter City and forward Loick Pires who has returned to the club after a season at Woking.

After Wrexham, the first league game of the season at Park View Road is against Cambridge United on Wednesday at 7.45pm.

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