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Brown writes: 03.08.13

The Charlton friendly was a perfect way to kick off our first home game of this pre-season and I think everyone who attended would have been surprised at the strength of the team they fielded, especially as they’d had a pre-season friendly the day before.

After the Maidstone defeat we did not get downbeat and after the Charlton victory we certainly didn’t get carried away

I thought the first-half performance was a very mature one and our shape and discipline was first class. The fitness levels were comparable with Charlton’s and it wasn’t until they made several changes in the second half that they looked brighter and livelier – but I felt we performed admirably with several fantastic individual performances.

After the Maidstone defeat we did not get downbeat and after the Charlton victory we certainly didn’t get carried away; it was just another pre-season friendly to us and a chance to improve our fitness levels and understanding. The performance was the icing on the cake and every player should have come away feeling very happy with his contribution to the performance.

On the injury front it was great to see Michael Thalasittis get 65 minutes under his belt and that’s the first time Michael has been pain-free since arriving from Stevenage. As you would have expected he looked a little jaded towards the end but hopefully that is the end of his hip flexor issues and he can build his fitness up quickly from now on. Dean Rance was the only casualty with a tight hamstring which should only be short term and by the time we play Gillingham I’m hopeful he will be available for selection.

We had a very tough session Tuesday night and the fitness levels of the group have been very pleasing. Although it’s been demanding the players have attacked the sessions with the right attitude and commitment. We have tried to get the balance between fitness and strength and conditioning but with very limited contact time and friendlies aplenty it has been a difficult process – but one I think we have managed to get right.

The club continues to go from strength to strength off the field and the long-term plan for the security of Ebbsfleet United is always top of the agenda. Although we can build the club behind the scenes with new sponsorships and community schemes, the one thing that sustains a football club more than anything else is you, the supporters. I thought the turnout for our first game here was absolutely superb and hopefully we can build and develop our fanbase as the season continues.

I hope the last three friendlies allow us to get everybody fit and available for that all-important first league fixture. Please get behind the players as your support and encouragement really will make a difference.

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