Wheeler is latest new signing as United continue their preparations

Joe Wheeler of Belper United
Joe Wheeler of Belper United

Belper United’s pre-season preparations are gathering momnentum with Clipstone named as their first ever opponents in the FA Vase.

Manager Steve Watson says the excitement is building about the forthcoming season.

“Pre-season has started well with over 40 players coming to training and signing on for the club already, so things look good for both our two sides.

“Only three players from last season’s first team haven’t re-signed, which shows what a good season last year was.

“Joe Wheeler has confirmed his return after having a season break due to setting up a new business.

“So with several more of the former Belper Town Reserves also now joining the club, we should have plenty of strength in depth. There are a couple of high profile signings we are in the process of completing, which will bring some much-needed experience to the side and hopefully we can confirm details very shortly.

“We are delighted to say that former Belper Town and Holbrook Sports backroom staff member Dougie Rowland has also joined the club to provide matchday duties as first team physio.”

United have been drawn away to Clipstone in the FA Vase First Round Qualifier on September 7. Clipstone last year finished midtable in the Step 6 Northern Counties East Division One.

The winners have another away tie against St Andrews or Lutterworth Athletic on September 24.

The Windsor Foodservice Central Midland League constitution for the forthcoming season sees The Black Dragon Badges South division having 18 teams, including new boys Swanwick Pentrich Road, Mickleover Royal British Legion and reigning champions Allenton United from the Midland Regional Alliance.

The South sections kick off on August 10, with the Reserve Premier Division beginning on September 7.

Belper United have confirmation now on their first three pre-season friendlies. On July 13, they face Leicester Senior League side Ashby Ivanhoe, on July 27 they travel to leicestershire again to face EMCL side Ibstock United and on August 3 they host NCEL Division One side Dronfield Town at Alton Manor.