Donnelly patient in search for defender and striker

Striker Dexter Atkinson in pre-season action. Pic by Tim Harrison.
Striker Dexter Atkinson in pre-season action. Pic by Tim Harrison.

Belper Town joint-manager Paul Donnelly says the club is working on applying the finishing touches to the 2017/18 squad.

Donnelly confirmed the Nailers were still in the hunt for a central defender and a striker - but only if the right players become available.

He and fellow manager Anthony Danylyk have been speaking to targets and are willing to be patient to get the best fit for Belper Town.

While the existing squad have been put through their paces as the Belper bosses look to get their players prepared for the physical rigours of the football season.

Donnelly said: “We don’t want to bring players in just for the sake of having numbers there.

“With getting the job quite close to pre-season it has been challenging trying to get players in. A lot of them are training with other teams and seeing what’s happening there.

“We’re hoping to get a couple in before the first game of the season but they’ve got to be the right players.

“If we have to wait to get the players we want then we will do so, but we’re still looking to get a couple in before the first game.”

And added: “We’ve had some lads train with us that we’ve now moved on. There are a couple who are still with us, who we’re having a final look at.

“We’re getting more towards the squad for the start of the season now. I think we’ll be looking to get more towards the squad for the first game on Friday.”

Matt Richards scored as the team endured a 1-1 draw with Evo-Stik League Premier Division opponents Mickleover Sports last weekend.

Belper face Derbyshire neighbours Matlock Town, also of the Evo-Stik League Premier Division, in their last pre-season fixture on August 4th.

The Nailers’ Evo-Stik League South Division campaign starts at home to Basford United on Saturday, August 12th (3pm kick off).

“We’ve been together for a few weeks now training,” said Donnelly. “Players are getting closer to full fitness which is the priority at this stage.

“With us being new to the club, we’ve had a lot of players in to have a look at in training.

“It’s been more a case of looking at players and getting fitness into the players rather than working on the technical side of things, at the moment.

“We’ve made it clear the way we want to play. The training sessions that we’ve put on have been geared towards that.

“We’ll look to work on shape and pattern of play between now and the start of the season.”

With leagues beginning to start up again, after the summer off-season, Donnelly is looking forward to their first competitive game in charge of the Nailers.

“When the season ends you think you’ve got no football for a long time then it’s suddenly back up again,” he added.

“It’s great and I much prefer it when the season is up and running. We’re champing at the bit to get to that first league game at home to Basford.”