Cambridge United kick off the new 2017/18 Sky Bet League Two season with a trip to St James’ Park and Exeter City this weekend.
Following the hard graft of pre-season training and the build-up of match minutes across nine friendlies, the U’s are fighting fit and raring to tackle another EFL season.
After an 11th place finish, having taken the play-off hunt to the final game of the season at Wycombe last term, Shaun Derry’s side will be embark on a new campaign tomorrow in Devon hoping to take the chase a step closer in nine months’ time.
Messrs Ibehre, Amoo, Azeez, Osadebe, Deegan, Forde, Mitov and Brown have all entered the doors of the Cambs Glass Stadium over the Summer to bolster the U’s squad, which contains the large majority of personnel that completed the 2016/17 campaign.
As for this weekend’s hosts, Exeter City, they again proved to be a forced to be reckoned with last term and were 90 minutes away from securing a place in League One, narrowly missing out at Wembley at the hands of Blackpool.
Despite a rocky start to the 2016/17 season, Paul Tisdale’s men recovered remarkably to grow in strength as the year progressed.
A dramatic win over Carlisle United in the Play-off Semi-final second leg, in which Jack Stacey rattled in a 95th minute winner to secure a 6-5 aggregate victory, brought the Grecians’ campaign at St James Park to a close.
With Tisdale set to take charge of his 12th season at Exeter City, making him second to only Arsene Wenger in the country’s list of longest serving managers, the Grecians will be targeting another League charge this year.
The U’s took the spoils when the sides met at St James’ Park last season, Harrison Dunk and Luke Berry both on the scoresheet that afternoon, as United travelled back to Cambridgeshire with three points in the bag. In fact United, twice got the better of the Grecians last season, with a Leon Legge header separating sides at the Cambs Glass Stadium in March.
Watch the thoughts of U’s Head Coach Shaun Derry ahead of the season opener at iFollow now.