ILMINSTER Town have announced a series of pre-season friendlies ahead of the 2020/21 Somerset County League campaign.

The Blues are in action this coming Saturday, August 1, against Westlands, before taking on Sherbourne Town (August 18), Peasedown Miners (August 22) and North Petherton (August 27).

As well as arranging friendlies, Ilminster have been busy getting players to commit for next season.

New Blues manager Chris Hill has kept hold of goalkeeper Jack Rutter, defenders Louis Rutter and Dougie Whitfield, utility midfielder Lee Sweet and forward Charlie Rutter.

Charlie Rutter, who took over as caretaker manager last season, has been named club captain in his 12th season with the club, and Hill said: "Charlie is a player that will give us options going forward.

"He can hold the ball up exceptionally well and bring others into the game.

"His leadership skills are superb, and I will be looking to Charlie to help push this team forward this season so we can fulfil our potential.

"I will be looking to get the best out of Charlie and get him back to scoring the number of goals we all know he is capable of."

Louis Rutter has been handed the 1st XI captaincy role, with Sweet as vice-captain,

Attacking left-back Karl Davis returns to the Blues, after a season playing in the Dorset Premier League.

A number of reserve team players - goalkeeper Andrew Male, midfielders Tom Fletcher and Sam Hodkinson, and forwards William Retter and Callum Smith, plus B team vice-captain Matty Vinall and promising youngster Harvey Webber - are also staying.

Ilminster Town Ladies boss Craig Stuckey has also been successful in getting the bulk of last season’s squad to commit to the club.

The players staying on are: goalkeeper Charlotte Johnson, defenders Dana Andrews, Daisy Charles and Lauren Struszczak, midfielders Georgia Mann, Colette Martin, Sarah Miller and Charlie Pettinger, and forwards Abbie Carslake, Harrie Kelly and Maisie Parker.

Of club captain Miller, Stuckey said: "She is currently still recovering from a nasty challenge which resulted in a hospital visit in our last game before lockdown, but hopefully she will be patched up and ready to go by the time we properly get going."

Stuckey has also lined up several pre-season matches, against Weston Mendip (August 9), Poole (August 16), St Austell (August 21), Plympton (August 23) and Larkhall (August 30).

The Ladies Reserves are set to take on Weston Mendip (August 9), Crewkerne (August 11), Seaton (August 16) and Axminster (August 23).

The men’s reserve side face Somerton (August 8), Staplegrove Reserves (August 15), North Petherton Reserves (August 22) and Merriott (August 29) as part of their preparations.