A warm welcome back home to you all after our last two games on the road where we picked up four more points to add to the three against Poole Town.
I think we’ve had a good start considering the amount of injuries in pre-season. It’s been a stop-start process getting people ready for competitive football so to be on seven points already is something I’d file under “a good start”. And hopefully we’ll have more players back in the next week or so and I think we’ll get stronger as we go along in what is a busy schedule through August and September.
Some of those injuries are now starting to correct themselves. Mark Phillips was due to train yesterday though it might be too early for him tonight. Danny Kedwell was also back in training after sitting out the Hungerford match and hopefully available.
Charlie Sheringham I hope has suffered no ill effects from the excellent shift he put in across 90 minutes at the weekend and should also have been fine to complete a full training session. And Aaron McLean has gone to the FA centre at St George’s Park for the week to get him on the road to rehabilitation and I’m hoping he’ll back in training with us next Monday or the middle of next week.
The way the fixtures are set up this season sees more than a quarter of the games played before September is out. It’s difficult for all clubs because with so many games, what you’re doing is just going from preparation for one game to prep for another and then trying to fit your usual training programme in too, and then you have games coming thick and fast.
You haven’t got any time to do “real” training, especially when you pick up injuries (and in our case when you’ve got them in pre-season anyway), so you’re not operating with your whole squad at any one time. So it has cut down training time with the players but it is what it is and it’s a problem for everyone, not just us. But you get into the routine that you need to get into and players grow into it. I still feel every match we go into, we’ll give a good account of ourselves.
I’d like to welcome Marvin McCoy to the club. We’ve not had much cover in the full-back positions with only young Ollie Boulding in there and Marvin was available. He has a good pedigree, he’s played with Dave Winfield and they can pick up a good understanding straight away. Marvin had a good debut with just the one training session behind him and he gave a good account of himself – though he’s got to get fitter, no doubt.
Tonight we welcome Pablo Asensio and Whitehawk back after only playing them here a few months ago. They have brought in a lot of new players who we don’t know too much about but we’ve had them watched twice.
That aside, we know what Pablo wants to do and the way he wants his teams to play. He got them performing last year and took them on that terrific run to the play-off semis. All the talk, of course, is of the South Americans and others he has brought in but whatever the individuals in their side tonight, I know it’ll be a tough game as ever we face and I fancy Whitehawk will be up there come the end of the season.
It’s been great to see so many Fleet faces at the two away games but still a relief to get a home game and, once more, I’m sure you’ll back the lads to the hilt under the lights tonight.
Enjoy the game.