MELKSHAM Town boss Kieran Baggs said there was plenty to take away from pitting themselves up against league opposition in their opening two games of pre-season.

The Toolstation Premier Division side fell to a 6-1 defeat at home to Bristol Rovers last Saturday, Lee Davidson scoring the consolation from the penalty spot, before welcoming Swindon Town to the Oakfields Stadium on Tuesday night, where they suffered a 5-0 reverse.

However, apart from the obvious financial boost, with both games seeing crowds in excess of 1,000, Baggs reckons the exposure to that level of football for his squad will be hugely beneficial.

“To have two professional clubs down to this new facility is brilliant,” said Baggs, who was full of praise for opposite number David Flitcroft for the way he gave his time to meet the players and the younger fans at Oakfields.

“All the fans that come down to watch it, all the new supporters, the kids that are coming in, it’s brilliant for the club.

“Financially as well, it’s fantastic for a club in the Western League that you can attract 1,500 fans in.

“On a playing side of things, to test yourself in the first two pre-season games against a League One side and a League Two side, it doesn’t get much tougher than that.

“But, with the strongest side possible that I could put out on Saturday for 45 minutes and the same on Tuesday night, to be in the game was brilliant.

“Then, 60 minutes kicks on and you make eight to 10 changes and you can see where your top team is in comparison to the fitness levels that they have got playing full-time.

“I think the better test will be this Friday against Dorchester and then Paulton Rovers on Tuesday and we’ll have a better idea of where we are at.”

Baggs is also pleased with how his squad is shaping together, having landed Wells City’s Jake Brown to add to the addition of Alex Grimshaw, Steve Casey and Ben Pring earlier this week.

“There’s a few more that have signed and they will be given their chance, the same as everyone else,” he added.

“Jake was Wells City’s captain last season and he was different class when we played them home and away and is a massive capture.

“I know a lot of the top sides in the Western League have been asking for him to come over so to seal that deal is another great option we can have.

“As a whole we’re almost there. If I can add one or two now, I might, but it’s dependent on availability.

“We had a squad of 24 on Tuesday night and it will start to be trimmed for August 5.”