Poppies youngsters to get more time to show what they can do

Thomas Baillie
Thomas Baillie

Kettering Town’s young guns will get more time to show what they can do in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division as they prepare for two games in the space of 24 hours.

The Poppies make the short trip to Bedworth United tomorrow (Saturday) before taking on Bideford at Steel Park on Sunday.

And the morale in the camp should be reasonably high, despite the action coming a week on after the club were officially relegated for the second successive season.

Kettering responded to their relegation with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over St Neots Town on Wednesday night and finished the game with a number of teenagers on the bench.

The Poppies are definitely without Henry Eze, who is suspended for three matches, while injured duo Nathan Fox and Louie Hamilton are struggling to be fit.

But boss Thomas Baillie is confident Aman Verma will be fit after he was withdrawn at half-time in midweek with an ankle problem while Jamie Griffiths and Pat Noubissie are set to return to the squad.

And Baillie insists motivation for his relegated side is not a problem as the Poppies look to finish a miserable campaign on and off the pitch with a flourish.

“For the last few minutes of the game on Wednesday we had five or six 17 or 18 year olds out there and they did well for us,” the Kettering manager said.

“It is difficult to come into this level and pick it up and they will get more time on the pitch over the weekend with two games in 24 hours.

“We have just said to the lads that we want to win as many games as possible to make the gap between ourselves and those above us as small as we can.

“Obviously we have spent a lot of time talking to the players since Saturday because they are saying ‘what happens now?’ and they understand the situation.

“All I can ask of them is that they give 100 per cent and if the supporters see someone trying hard then they will be happy with that.

“The lads are fine and the motivation has never been a problem. What has happens in the future is all in their hands, whether they are at Kettering or not.”

Kettering, meanwhile, are holding a player-of-the-year night at their proposed future home Latimer Park in Burton Latimer on Saturday, April 20 following their final home game with Gosport Borough at Steel Park.

The event has been described as “a celebration of the club’s current survival” and it will see the current first-team squad on hand for the presentations.

Tickets are priced at £2, which will include a buffet and they will be available at the turnstiles in the remaining three home matches or by emailing ktfc_trust@hotmail.com