Boss John Fowler says Whyteleafe are riding the wave of a terrific team spirit 
as they enter a new era of Ryman Division One South football.

Leafe won promotion last season as champions of the Southern East Counties League, and they will kick off their new campaign on August 9 at home to Ramsgate.

The match will mark the first competitive fixture on the new 3G pitch, installed at Church Road over the summer.

It took its bow last weekend in a 2-2 friendly clash against Kingstonian, where goals from Ryan Fowler and Greg Andrews were cancelled out by a Nathaniel Pinney brace.

Leafe’s squad included 15 players from last season, with only keeper Adam Highstead a new face to the Leafe faithful.

Fowler said: “It was the team spirit that got us promoted and we were very keen to keep most of the players on, and we’ve done that.

“Adam has come in as competition for Sheikh [Ceesay]. There was none of that last season.

“Greg [Andrews] says he is staying on and he is looking fitter than last season, which is great. I know players may still disappear, but we’re hopeful Greg will stay.”

He added: “There is no denying that the 3G pitch means we’re strapped financially at the moment, so that’s another reason why we’ve kept so many players.

“But if they can recreate the team spirit, there is no reason we cannot do well.”

The 2-2 draw with Kingstonian, who finished runners up in the Ryman Premier last term, has left Fowler buzzing for the new season.

He said: “We can’t wait to get going really. We played well against Ks and it was a good test."

Leafe hosted Bromley on Tuesday night, and they welcome Dulwich Hamlet to Church Road this weekend, kick-off 3pm.