Tomorrow evening at RSA Academy Tipton sees Darlaston and Sporting Khalsa play each other in both clubs’ first pre-season friendly, as preparation for the coming season.
Darlaston take on Step 5 opposition from the Total Motion Midland League Premier Division, for their first two fixtures both at RSA on the astro turf pitch, they welcome Lye Town on Saturday as well as last season’s third placed finishers in Sporting Khalsa who finished behind champions and promoted Ilkeston Town as well as second placed Walsall Wood
Ian Rowes’ squad as well a high league position last season his squad lifted the J.W. Hunt Cup, after beating Highgate 4-1 at Molyneux the goals coming from Kinch, Holdcroft, Beckley and Perry.
Darlaston’s pre-season campaign started in early June 15 sessions have been completed over 30 hours of pre-season training as you can probably imagine the players are absolutely desperate the players are desperate to play a competitive game.
I had a chat with the manager yesterday and Andy said, “Pre-season has gone well, the lads have worked tremendously hard and completed a detailed and well-planned programme, apart from the odd niggle, there have been no major issues. We have been fortunate to have retained the majority of last seasons’ squad and with the new signings, I am excited to see where we stand after the first two pre-season matches, especially given the high level of the opposition that we are playing.”
Andy added “To play games on a 3g pitch is not my first choice surface, but at least we will have a sound true surface to continue the work that we have done in pre-season. I have selected a squad of 17 players for tomorrow’s game. Over all six pre-season games you will definitely see all of the players, they will be given ample time to earn a place in the first league game of the season on 3rd August 2019 The games will also give the opportunity to try things as well as combinations of players and see who plays best alongside who.”
He finished by saying “Huge thanks should go to my team, Mike, Aimee and new coaches Nick Lewis and Ant Follows, have worked so hard together to get the players through a very testing time.”
Sporting Khalsa meanwhile returned to pre-season training on 29th June and are in the process of the building their squad for the coming season, so tomorrow evening could see several trialists wearing their colours. Ian Rowe the Khalsa manager has retained the likes of ex-Darlaston keeper Sam Arnold and last season’s top scorer Dan Westwood, along with dynamo Liam Armstrong as well as Midland League Player of the Season last season Tesfa Robinson. New signings have also been completed George Taylor from A.F.C. Wulfrunians, James McCreedy from Brocton with Mike Perks returning to the Club from losing Birmingham Vase finalists Enville Athletic.
Because of the substantial works completed on the pitches at the Paycare Ground at the end of last season the match is being paid at R.S.A. Academy, Bilston Road, Tipton, DY4 0BZ. Kick-off is 8.00 p.m. and entrance is FREE.
Please come and see the progress that Darlaston’s team and squad have made since last Season and also meet some new signings that are part of the match day squad.
Updated 16:37 - 8 Jul 2019 by Simon Cox