We are now just a week away from the start of the Conference South campaign and it has been a very productive pre-season so far. I’ve always said it is about getting everyone fit for selection for that first game and in truth we’ve picked up a lot of injuries in this first five weeks.
What you try and avoid are the muscle pulls and strains during the first four weeks which we’ve managed to do… but Michael West is a long-term injury and Dean Rance and Ben May are both knee injuries that were sustained last season. Both players have had injections and hopefully this will clear up the issues they both have.
Shane Huke has struggled with back spasms and although he has full range of movement at the moment we are very wary of how temperamental the nerves in the spine can be. We are looking into a long-term solution that will hopefully help to prevent it from happening again.
Billy Bricknell sustained an impact injury on his ankle in the week and the swelling was quite severe. At the time of writing these notes, we are assessing the damage and the length of time Billy will be out.
The Portsmouth game was another very accomplished performance and the players looked fit and strong. The second goal stood out for me and the move was superb: Cook, Corcoran, Howe and Bricknell were all involved and the timing and quality of the passing, the delivery and the finish wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Premier League.
Tuesday night’s friendly saw us make the short trip to Thurrock and again it was a decent exercise and we got what we wanted out of the game. The two goals we scored were very different but both equally outstanding finishes from Matt Godden and Charlie Sheringham. The only real downside was the injury to Billy and hopefully he won’t be out for too long.
Today we welcome Peter Taylor and his Gillingham side. Peter has a wealth of knowledge and has managed and coached at the highest levels of the game. His experience helped Gillingham finish in a very respectable league position last season and I’m sure Peter is keen to better that this time round.
He has great support from Andy Hessenthaler and Mark Patterson and we wish them well for the forthcoming season.