Eaden content with Poppies' squad so far

Nicky Eaden insists he is comfortable with the way his Kettering Town is looking with less than three weeks to go until the big kick-off in the Vanarama National League North.

Sunday, 14th July 2019, 10:34 pm
Kettering Town manager Nicky Eaden. Picture by Paul Cooke/Poppies Media

But the Poppies boss has conceded there are a few more additions he would like to make as pre-season progresses.

It is understood that Kettering are closing in on a potential loan signing while Eaden revealed experienced striker Shane Benjamin is set to be involved at Latimer Park in a player-coach role.

But the Poppies manager admits he wants to work with a tight-knit squad and that any signings he does make will have to fit in with what he already has.

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“Numbers wise, and not even from a financial point of view, we can’t afford to carry a big squad,” Eaden said.

“So I am not too unhappy at the moment.

“Shane Benjamin is going to be here as a player-coach but I’d like to get another striker in so that we have three to choose from.

“We need at least one more centre-half but I don’t want to get anyone in just for the sake of having an extra body. If we get the chance to get someone decent who is better than what we have got then we will try to do it.

“But, at the moment, we really aren’t too far away from what I want.”

Having suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat at United Counties League club Whitworth in their pre-season opener last Thursday, the Poppies turned in an impressive display as they then went down 2-1 to a full-strength Peterborough United at Latimer Park on Saturday with Lindon Meikle on target for the hosts.

Kettering were without Marcus Kelly (calf) and the unavailable Brett Solkhon but there were some fine performances against the Sky Bet League One outfit.

One of those came from youngster Jack O’Connor who produced an excellent display alongside Luke Graham at the heart of the Poppies defence.

And Eaden added: Jack O’Connor was a big plus, that was plain to see for anybody who was there.

“We haven’t got many options at centre-half at the moment and Luke Graham is going to have a bigger part to play than last season.

“Jack was a plus but one performance doesn’t make a player and it will be interesting to see how he kicks on from that.

“I can tell you now that he will have to deal with balls being served in on him in the National League North so it will be good to see him coping with that.”

The Poppies’ pre-season campaign continues tomorrow (Tuesday) night with a trip to Bedford Town.