THERE is a refreshing look about Guildford City’s side this season.

After several years of disappointment for the club, new manager Tristan Rees has pressed reset with his squad to the extent that just one player remains from 2022-23. 

The manager and his three coaches – Chris Adams, Dan Goodall and Mo Sher – have tapped into young talent at their previous clubs to form a youthful-looking line-up. 

Last term, Guildford flirted with relegation before a late-season revival saw them finish 14th in Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Premier Division South. 

Rees is aware the club have aspirations, but understands they cannot match the big-spending ways of several of their rivals in the division.  

His approach is to introduce exciting young talent and see them thrive with opportunity and responsibility. 

It is a double-edged approach. The exciting young players assist in City’s progression and gain vital experience of senior football to aid their own development. 

Much of the player recruitment has been local. 

Louis Lindsay, Will May and Owen Tanner were on Knaphill’s books last season. 

Jack Knight and Callum Sullivan arrived from Westfield, and Lewis Taylor and Ethan Cassie played for Metropolitan Police.

Experience is provided by midfielders Jack Cleevely (from Fleet Spurs) and Mike Coppinger (from Abbey Rangers), together with versatile ex-Godalming Town player Kurt Greenaway.

By Greenaway’s admission, he has reached the veteran stage of his footballing life, and is twice the age of some of his team-mates.

New-look Guildford’s 3-1 victory at Loxwood on Tuesday last week was regarded as their most impressive 90-minute performance so far. 

City’s goals came from Manny Achaempong (2) and May. 

On Saturday, Guildford concluded their pre-season programme with the annual Bill Kyte Trophy match against Godalming.

The match at the Bill Kyte Stadium was 1-1 after 90 minutes, having been a typically tough battle between the sides. 

Guildford had the better of the first half but missed several good chances and could not add to Achaempong’s 29th-minute goal. 

A second-half equaliser from the home side meant the game went to penalties, Godalming coming out on top 7-6 in the shootout to win the  trophy for the third consecutive year. 

After the match, Rees said: “It’s always good to get a competitive game in pre-season, which is what we got.“