WORKSOP Town are back with a bang – with four pre-season friendlies in eight days.
Tigers start their summer fixtures on Saturday at Retford United, before games against Worksop Parramore, Lincoln City and Bedlington Terriers, and boss Simon Clark can’t wait.
The first team manager told the Guardian this week that he wants supporters to get a glimpse of the new-look squad in action, and get excited.
“I can’t wait to see them in a match,” he said. “I want Worksop Town fans to see them play and get excited.”
“We’ve done quite a bit of football in training and the standards are really high, we’ve got good decision makers and winners in the team this year, and good pace.”
Pre-season matches were due to begin last weekend against Parramore, but the weather put paid to the fixture.
Instead, Clark took his men to Mansfield where they continued their gruelling training ahead of the new season.
He said: “We went to a 3G pitch and trained hard. They are working so hard, as I expect. They were disappointed not to play but it was too early anyway.”
“We’ve got no injuries at the moment and they’ve done 9,000 intense metres, and now they’ve got four games in eight days.”
Despite all the new faces this summer, it’s a signing made in 2010 impressing the manager.
“We expect the standards to be much higher than last year,” he said. “No disrespect to last year’s players.”
“You can be happy picking up your dough, or you can be someone who strives and strives to be as good as you can be.”
“Matt Young embodies that, he was so impressive on Monday night.”
The games on Saturday and Monday will act as auditions for Wednesday night’s visit of professional outfit Lincoln City.
Clark wants his players to step forward and demand a starting role.
He said: “They will all play 45 minutes on Saturday and 45 on Monday, after very physical warm ups.”
“They will be playing tired, and the best 11 over the two games will start against Lincoln City on Wednesday night.”
“The players will pick the team with their performances.”
“Results are important but I’m looking for match specific fitness and performance.”
Their hectic week ends next weekend with a trip up north to Bedlington Terriers, in what is as much a team building exercise as a pre-season fixture.
“Everyone is staying up there after the game and going for a few drinks together,” Clark told the Guardian.
“It’s good to get out, we’ve a lot of new players and I think it helps.”
The former Lincoln City caretaker manager also confirmed that Owain Warlow and Ash Burbeary are still in talks over a return to the club, and Corby Town midfielder James Ozmen came to training at Manton on Monday.
“He wants to come in and train with us. He’s a central midfielder, he can shift it and he can play up high in the hole.”