FAIRFORD Town manager Gareth Davies believes that he will have a good blend of youth and experience for his first season in charge at Cinder Lane.

The former Malmesbury Victoria boss took over the reins from Paul Braithwaite, who joined Hellenic League Premier Division outfit Wootton Bassett Town, last month and has brought several of his young players with him to the Division One West club.

And Davies has also managed to retain 10 of last season’s Fairford squad.

“The side is looking pretty good at the moment,” Davies said. “There is a good blend of players here - the average age against Swindon (on Tuesday) was about 25.

“At the moment there are about 20 players, and of course, that will have to be cut down but we do have a reserve side as well.”

As well as having familiar faces at his disposal, Davies has also snapped up Josh Skeete and Ben Hillby after they returned to the area.

“Both Josh and Ben were travelling last year and they have come to training and they both look decent players,” Davies said.

“Josh played wide on the right against Swindon but I think he will be suited to a more central role, while Ben is a good little defender.”

With the Cinder Lane side entertaining Binfield this afternoon, Davies says that his side have been given a tough start to the new league campaign.

Fairford will begin their Division One West campaign with a visit from Shortwood United on Saturday, August 9, before making the trip to Gloucester to tackle Tuffley Rovers.

Following two tough league encounters, Davies’ side will host Combined Counties League Premier Division side Knaphill in the FA Cup extra preliminary round.

The Woking-based club, who are making their first outing in the cup, ply their trade one level up the football pyramid than Fairford.

“It is a tough start,” Davies said. “But if we can get through those three games with the right results then it will set us up nicely for the season.”