Newly appointed Weymouth manager Brian Stock said he was “really pleased” with his side’s performance on his managerial debut.
Weymouth defeated last season’s Vanarama National League South runners-up Havant and Waterloovile behind closed doors at the Bob Lucas Stadium yesterday afternoon.
Havant took the lead early through Josh Taylor, before a quickfire response from Cody Cooke saw the Terras equalise and goals from Calvin Brooks and Alefe Santos in the second-half secured the 3-1 victory.
“I’m really pleased,” Stock told uptheterras.co.uk. “Obviously Havant are a very strong side, they recruited really well this year and I believe they’ll go close to promotion in their league.
“They’re very physical, strong and a big side, when you look at what we have in our squad, we’ve got very technically gifted players, not necessarily have we got the athleticism, the height and the strength that they have.
“We had to move the ball quickly, but I thought we started really slow, I thought we were quite sloppy in possession and the lads knew that when they came in at half-time.”
Havant and Waterlooville beat the Terras in both meetings between the two sides last season and are one of the favourites to secure promotion from the National League South this season.
In only his second day in the job, Terras manager Brian Stock said he was pleased with how the squad adapted to the changes in personnel and formation during the game.
“The biggest thing for me and what pleases me the most was the impact that the players had who came on the pitch,” continued Stock. “I said before the game that it’s very much a team effort and they showed that, not only did they come on but we changed the formation and messages had to go across to all the players. They made a big impact and for me that is a massive plus.
“We discussed before the game how important fitness will be in this league, I want to be a team that is an aggressive pressing team, strong, fit and squad size might dictate that throughout a whole season.
“We might have to adapt and maybe play a little bit more conservative and not necessarily press, but shuffle as a unit. I thought we had the balance very well today, we pressed very aggressively, they put a lot of work in and when I compare that to what I saw on Tuesday at Totton, I was really pleased with all of them.
“Fitness is a major part, if we can make sure all the players have as much game time as they can. Players who only played 30 minutes will get more of a run out on Tuesday. If we can keep a fit and uninjured squad going into the start of the season then that will be a success.”
Weymouth’s next Pre-Season test comes on Tuesday when the Terras travel over the ridgeway to face Dorchester Town at the Avenue Stadium (19:45 kick-off).
The Terras sold out their allocation in the first 24 hours of tickets being on sale and their new manager says he is looking forward to his side playing in front of their fans again.
“When the players were coming into the changing room that was the first time I had even met them,” admitted Stock. “In an ideal word you’d like a couple of days leading up to the game to try and work on one or two things, the information I gave them before the game was almost drawn up on a board rather than in a practical session.
“They delivered that very well and having a core of the group from the previous season they are organised on set-pieces, which is going to be a crucial part of the game this year.
“When the supporters come back in, the attendance should be a lot higher compared to what they are used to. It’s great if the fans come back in because that’s what football is all about.”