Fleet fans got their first look at what could become the core of their side for the forthcoming season in 2009-10’s first friendly warm-up.
With the side made up entirely of trialists – Lance Cronin and Steven Springett aside – there were, however, a few other familiar faces. Ex-Fleet and Tonbridge full back Phil Starkey was in the starting line-up, as was former Grays, Cambridge and Farnborough man Gavin Heeroo.
PASE striker Nick Nowotny played in a youthful side that also saw appearances by 20-year-old former Cambridge and Weymouth defender Jordan Collins; ex-Crystal Palace, Fisher Athletic and Woking defender Michael Kamara; and 22-year-old goalscorer Pascal Ebigbo who has played for Bodens in Sweden and represented Nigeria at youth level in the World and African Nations cups. Ebigbo has also played academy football for Charlton Athletic.
Other players reported to be trialing with the Fleet include Southend youths Rhys Henry and Jamie Forshaw; former Cambridge scholar goalkeeper Sam Beagle who is an ex-teammate of fellow trialist Jordan Collins; and ex-Grays, Yeovil and Torquay winger Ishmael Welsh, who has represented England C.
The makeshift Fleet did not look unsettled against their Ryman Division One North opponents and were on top for much of the first half. Predictably, the second period petered out with a raft of changes by both sides and it was difficult to judge those players capable of Blue Square football – but as ever with the season’s first friendly, it was a useful indicator for manager Liam Daish and a foundation on which to build in the coming weeks.
Your next chance to catch the new-look Fleet side is this coming Saturday at Tonbridge Angels’ Longmead Stadium, kick-off 3.00pm.