Hucknall Town all set for first friendly games
Hucknall Town kick off their pre-season programme next week with the visit of Carlton Town on Thursday, 1st July (7.45pm) and a home clash with Cromford two days later on Saturday, 3rd July (3pm).
Manager Andy Graves is able to start signing new players from 1st July so will use the Carlton game to run the rule over a trio of new faces before all parties agree to put pen to paper.
“I would imagine Carlton would give us a very good test looking at the calibre of players they have recently signed,” said Graves.
“Nathan Watson is back there and I would guess he will play some sort of part against us.
“They are always a good test. But you don't win anything in pre-season. You have to get what you want out of it and get back to the physicality of it, playing regular games, keeping fit and rotating your players.
“With having a game on Saturday too I can give players a bit longer rather than 45 minutes here and there. We have enough games for everyone to get a food run.
“Obviously I know the rest of the squad it's just a case of looking at the new players for a longer period.
“They can all play whatever their fitness allows. We won;t kill them off, that's for sure. We will take it steady. But I want to let them show what they can do, not just give them 10 minutes here and there.
“Fitness does not look to be an issue from the sessions we've done. It's more a case of getting used to the way we play.”
The three new faces, two of them former professionals, have impressed in the first training sessions over the last week and Graves expects to have them on board.
“Everything went fine,” he said.
“We can't sign anyone until 1st July but hopefully they will stay happy until then. It was all positive.
“We had a good session and two more this week, though next week's Tuesday one is now likely to be Monday as some big game is now inconveniently happening that night!
“That will start our build-up to the season properly.”
He added: “I have said come and train, see they are happy with us and us happy with them.
“I have spoken to the main one and he seems happy and I don't see any reason why he shouldn't sign.
“We know all about these players but they've not yet played in our system.
“So we wanted them to play a game before we all sat down and finalised everything.
“One of the lads - I want to see how he fits in.
“He is from good background and played in the FA Vase semi-final last year, so he's been playing at a high level. Hopefully things will work out with him.
“Fingers crossed we can finally get a full season in though I am not 100 per cent convinced it will happen yet. After two part seasons, we've not really had a full run at the level above since we were promoted.”