Belper Town boss Grant Black happy with progress so far

Grant Black says it’s been good to get his players back on the pitch after seeing his Belper Town side begin their pre-season campaign last weekend.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 6:25 pm
Belper boss Grant Black was pleased by what he saw in last Friday's opening pre-season friendly.
Belper boss Grant Black was pleased by what he saw in last Friday's opening pre-season friendly.

Friday’s trip to Goole AFC resulted in a 2-2 draw with new striker Jonny Margetts netting both of the Nailers goals.

And Black was pleased with what he saw from his players after such a long lay-off.

He said: “Above all it was just good to get back in that environment and it was totally different to the mini-matches we’d played within the squad in the last few weeks.

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"The game was played at a good tempo with tackles flying in too so it was a worthy test for both sides.

"We had a look at a couple of different formations and obviously a few of our new faces played too, as well as ones we want to have a good look at before making a decision on whether to sign them or not.”

With that latter point in mind, Black says he’ll again run the rule over some trialists in Saturday’s trip to Brigg Town, before then refining the numbers down to a more manageable size for the remainder of pre-season and the campaign ahead.

He said: “We’ve got about 22 training tonight [Tuesday] and ideally we want a good squad of around 18, so there will be three or four we’ll look at again on Saturday and then have a chat with the ones we want to try and keep as well as those who can be free to have a look elsewhere.

"There’s room to bring a couple more in but we don’t want to be signing players willy-nilly.

"It’s been a bit harder to recruit at times this year as a lot of players have been keen to show loyalty to their clubs following the curtailment last season and perhaps feel they have unfinished business to attend to.

“But that’s actually good to see and it works both ways, as we’ve only had one key player depart and that was Derry Robson moving to a club further north due to him being unable to commit to the different travelling commitments we’ll have in the new division because of where he’s based.

"We’ve tried to persuade people to join by offering more than just money and thankfully there are players who like the look of what we’re doing here and are keen to come.”