Marcus Law looks set to take the cautious approach for Kettering Town’s final pre-season friendly at Rugby Town tonight (Tuesday).
The Poppies make the short trip into Warwickshire for the second part of a Newlands Shield double-header with James Jepson’s team who claimed a 5-3 success at Latimer Park at the weekend.
But, with the big kick-off in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division now just four days away, Law insists his priority is to ensure he has a fully-fit squad for the curtain-raiser at Dorchester Town on Saturday.
The likes of Liam Bateman, James Brighton, Gary Mulligan, Spencer Weir-Daley and Sam Smith all missed last weekend’s defeat to Rugby.
Law confirmed frontman Weir-Daley will feature this evening the vast majority of the Poppies squad for the final friendly is set to be made up of “trialists and youngsters”.
“The lads who were missing on Saturday should all be in contention for Dorchester but we will know more after tonight and after training on Thursday, which is when we will name the squad,” Law said.
“Hopefully Spencer he will come through it tonight and be ready for the weekend.
“But it will primarily be trialists and youngsters to have a look at.
“There are a few knocks and what we have to do now is make sure we don’t pick up any major injuries before the start of the season.
“I think we counted six that were unavailable for various reasons at the weekend and there is a feeling that we would like to redeem what happened in the game. But, of course, Saturday is now our priority and that’s what we have to think about.
“We had some missing at the weekend and we had a game away from home on the Thursday before it while the players went through a training session before they played Rugby.
“Not that they are excuses for what happened. But we know why it happened and that is the most important thing.”
The Newlands Shield will be decided by the aggregate score between the Poppies and Rugby following tonight’s game and there will be a penalty shoot-out should the teams be level on aggregate.
Don’t miss all the build-up to the Poppies’ first game of the season on this website and in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph