Full-strength Cobblers squad to take on Sileby in pre-season opener
The Cobblers play their first pre-season friendly of the summer at Sileby Rangers on Saturday and will take a full-strength squad to Fernie Fields (ko 2pm).
Town have only been back in training since last Friday, but they are already preparing for their first match action, and assistant manager Paul Wilkinson confirmed every member of the squad is set to be involved at the weekend.
The club’s six new signings and youth team graduate Shaun McWilliams will all be involved, as will the players who missed the back end of last season due to injury concerns, namely Marc Richards, Brendan Moloney and Rod McDonald.
“You are always going to get one or two players feel things and have little niggles, but so far they have all been good,” said Wilkinson.
“We need to monitor them at times and keep an eye on them, but at the moment everybody has taken part in each session.”
Sileby play in the UCL Premier Division, and the trip to Moulton has become something of a traditional curtain-raiser for the Cobblers’ pre-season campaign.
Wilkinson is looking forward to the game, and says it is just the next step in the club’s preparations for the new Sky Bet League One season.
“The first friendly always comes round quickly,” he said.
“Everybody counts down the weeks and before you know it it is upon you, but it is a nice game for us.
“It is a good one for the community with it being at Sileby, a local team, and it gives the fans and the lads the opportunity to mingle and get together, and it gives the fans the opportunity to see one or two of the new boys as well.
“This is pre-season preparation, nothing else.
“It is part of it, and the big thing for us is getting them some minutes, getting them back on the pitch, getting them touching and feeling the ball.
“We will work all week and go into the game, and it will be the same next week. The games are all part of the preparation.”
The Cobblers will wear their new Nike white away kit for the first time at Fernie Fields, and the new faces the Town fans can expect to see are striker Alex Revell, midfielder Jak McCourt, defenders Gaby Zakuani, Aaron Phillips and Raheem Hanley and goalkeeper David Cornell.
Other signings will be made before the start of the new campaign, but these are on hold at the moment as manager Rob Page makes sure he brings in the players he wants to add to his 20-strong squad.
“We are delighted with what we have got, but if the right players become available then we would like to strengthen,” confirmed Wilkinson.
“But at the moment we are quite happy with everything.”
Admission to the friendly at Sileby is £6 for adults and £3 concessions, and with a decent size crowd expected supporters are asked to arrive early.
Fans should enter Fernie Fields from the Round Spinney/Moulton Park entrance, and not the entrance that’s opposite Moulton Fire Station.
Cobblers squad v Sileby Rangers
Goalkeeprers: Adam Smith, David Cornell
Defenders: Brendan Moloney, Aaron Phillips, Ryan Cresswell, Zander Diamond, Rod McDonald, Gaby Zakuani, Dave Buchanan, Raheem Hanley
Midfielders: Jason Taylor, John-Joe O’Toole, Joel Byrom, Shaun McWilliams, Jak McCourt, Alfie Potter, Lawson D’Ath
Forwards: Marc Richards, Alex Revell, Sam Hoskins