Joint-manager Thomas Baillie insists Kettering Town will send out another “strong squad” as their pre-season programme takes them to Rothwell Corinthians tonight (Monday, 7.45pm).
The Poppies got their friendly fixtures under way with a comfortable 6-2 victory at ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division side Oadby Town at the weekend.
It looks like being the same again as far as Kettering are concerned this evening as the make the short trip to Sergeants Lawn to take on the UCL Division One side as part of their celebrations to mark the 80th year since their first competitive match.
Baillie was pleased to see his squad get back into the swing of things at the weekend as summer signings Brett Solkhon and Andy Hall both featured while Ross Oulton was also involved, although his move from Daventry Town is still waiting to be officially confirmed.
Jonathon Thorpe missed the game after having surgery on his cheekbone earlier this summer while defenders Dan Crowie and Henry Eze were also out as they prepare to return from respective holidays.
And Baillie said: “It was good to get back out there, we were a bit slow for the first 15 or 20 minutes but there were lots of positives after that.
“The players both old and new performed relatively well, which was pleasing. There was some good link-up play and we have still got a couple more to come into things as well.
“There won’t be many changes for tonight, it will be a strong squad.
“We may give a couple a rest and we may give others a few more minutes than they had at the weekend.
“But it is a much more local game and I am sure a lot of fans will be coming over to have a look at us so we have to make sure we give them what they want.
“We have had Dan Crowie and Henry Eze away and we will have conversations with them before we throw them back into the match situation.
“Jonathon was involved in an accident and it resulted in him needing surgery on his cheekbone.
“He is actually in America now, which we were fully aware about and I know he is keeping himself fit out there so I have no concerns about him.
“The accident happened a little while ago so once he is back, I expect him to come straight back into it.
“I certainly don’t have any concerns that he will miss the start of the season.”
Baillie, meanwhile, believes former Corby Town frontman Avelino Vieira has given him and fellow manager Scott Machin “something to think about”.
Vieira has been training with the Poppies and featured at Oadby where he scored from the penalty spot while Josh Moreman’s hat-trick and further goals from Andy Gooding and Nat Liburd sealed Kettering’s success.
And Baillie added: “Avelino is training with us and he has come in because he wants to show us what he can do. He has trained very well and he has a lot about him.
“He stepped up with confidence to score the penalty and, on top of all that, he is a lovely lad as well. He has definitely given us something to think about.”
Corinthians have confirmed that admission prices for tonight’s game will be £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.
The proceeds, after match expenses, will go towards the club’s refurbishment work which is ongoing since vandals struck earlier this year.