For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Gray is content with squad
10:52am Friday 16th August 2013 in Sport
DARLINGTON kick-off their season tomorrow, and having a more settled squad to choose from this time around is one of the few prospects that manager Martin Gray is sure of.
The standard of the Evo- Stik First Division North in comparison to the Northern League is the subject of debate and, while Darlington hope to challenge for promotion, they accept nothing is certain.
Gray is sure though, in contrast to last season, the players he selects for the opening game against Warrington Town are more likely to remain with the club than his first team of a year ago.
Twelve months back, Quakers began with a squad that evolved over the course of the campaign – of the 21 players that appeared in the 2012 team photo, only five remain.
“I’d like to think that what we’ve got now is what we’re going to work with,” said Gray, who has brought in six players since last season.
“Over the course of last season we must’ve made seven or eight changes to the XI.
“You’re always looking to strengthen your team, but this year we like to think we’ve got a settled squad and we want to keep the quality high. We made most of our signings at the end of last season and that meant we didn’t have to go out and find a team during the summer.
“But we’re still speaking to scouts and agents on the phone and there’s always someone offering you a player.
We’ve had a couple of trialists in this week from various places.”
Injuries and players being away on holiday have affected pre-season plans, including the cancellation of the final friendly at Blyth seven days ago.
But the manager insists his team is ready for tomorrow’s first game at Heritage Park, saying: “I just want the season to start.
“Apart from Gary Brown, everybody is available and that was the reason we had to call off the Blyth game, just to make sure we didn’t pick up anymore injuries.
“We’ve trained twice this week, Tuesday and Thursday, and done final bits of preparation not only for this Saturday but for the whole season ahead and working on what we expect to do.
“The squad is ready to go.’’
Comments are closed on this article.