Match preview: More trialists to be in matchday squad for U23s’ second pre-season friendly

Neil Ross sees his u23s’ second pre-season friendly as the perfect opportunity to “develop” further trialists with several regulars absent for the visit of Huddersfield Amateurs on Wednesday.

Keanan Mannings and Oliver Broe are among several important players unavailable, leaving space for “a couple more” trialists to be selected alongside the four that featured in the opening pre-season 4-4 vs Settle United first-team.

“We’ve got another centre-back coming in who’s been training a couple of times, came in last night,” explained Ross. “There’ll probably be more of the trialists playing. Mitch is unavailable, Keano’s unavailable, a couple of others are unavailable so it’ll be a good chance to get to bring these trialists in and have a look at them properly in a full game. It’s a case of trying to bring them into the squad now and develop them into what we what we’re looking for.

“It’s just been a case of whittling the players down to now trying to get a squad together that’ll push forward next season. We managed to keep a few players we had last year but we’ve managed to bring in probably five or six new players. It’s going to take them a bit of time to bed in but I think, potentially, we’ve got a strong squad again this year.

“Wouldn’t say new targets. It’s about getting a synergy in the squad, trying to work, get them involved and trying to get the build-up with the squad so it’s all ready for the season”.

The four Academy players currently training with the first-team are available unless it’s due to other circumstances, explained Ross, and provided an update on the potential for first-team players to feature for the u23s for match fitness.

“Not at the moment no, because I think he’s [Adam Lakeland, first-team manager] got quite a small squad as it is. So I think as the season goes on there’ll be certain players that haven’t played a lot of minutes that will need to get minutes under their belt but up till now, it’s sort of, with the game and their first game of the season coming up this weekend, I think he’s trying to keep his squad together and not really looking to get them minutes at the moment”.

Team News

Keanan Mannings, Oliver Broe, Oliver Russon, Mitchell Fox, Adam Maywand are all absent for Wednesday’s game while Sandile Masuku is doubtful.