Edinburgh to increase game time for Cobblers players in non-League double header

The entire Cobblers first team squad will travel to both of the club's scheduled pre-season friendlies this week as manager Justin Edinburgh steps up the minutes out on the pitch for his players.

Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:27 am
Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh

In the opening two friendlies, at Sileby Rangers and against Birmingham City Under-23s in Spain, every member of the squad was given 45 minutes game time.

Edinburgh is now keen to start expanding that, and will utilise Tuesday night’s friendly at Frome Town (ko 7.30pm) and Wednesday’s at AFC Rushden & Diamonds (ko 7.45pm) to ensure his players get much-needed minutes into their legs.

He is then planning to allow some players to get through 90 minutes at Kettering Town on Saturday.

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“We are going to use all of the games we have got for the senior players to make sure we get enough minutes into everyone, building up to the season,” said the Cobblers boss.

“This week, at Frome we will play one team 60 minutes, and then one team for 30 minutes, and then at Rushden we will swap it around.

“We are taking everybody to both games, and then when we get into the Kettering game we will start playing players for 90 minutes.”

Including the two matches this midweek, the Cobblers have five friendlies before they got to Shrewsbury Town on the opening day of the season.

Following the games at Frome and Rushden, Town go to Kettering Town (July 22) before hosting Derby County (July 25) and Newport County (July 29) at Sixfields.

Edinburgh is satisfied that there are enough games there to get his squad up to speed, but did say a scheduled youth team fixture at Wellingbrough Town on July 26 could also be upgraded to a senior fixture if required, just as the Rushden one has been this week.

“I think we have enough games to get the minutes in, and we have different variations of opposition which always helps as well,” said the Town manager.

“But we have to be mindful that we get enough minutes into everyone, so that come the start of the season everybody, whoever is selected, is ready to go.”

The only injury concern for Tuesday’s trip to Frome is midfielder Shaun McWilliams who rolled his ankle in training at Moulton College on Monday morning.