Cox's pre-season plans for Poppies gather pace

Kettering Town boss Paul Cox’s pre-season plans are gathering pace ahead of the next National League North campaign.

By Jon Dunham
Thursday, 9th July 2020, 7:50 am
Updated Thursday, 9th July 2020, 7:54 am
Paul Cox and assistant-manager John Ramshaw were on hand to talk to fans at Latimer Park last weekend
Paul Cox and assistant-manager John Ramshaw were on hand to talk to fans at Latimer Park last weekend

The Poppies boss, his assistant John Ramshaw and coach Ben Marvin were all on hand to speak to supporters as the club opened the gates of Latimer Park for the first time since March last weekend.

Fans had the opportunity to have a drink in the newly-refurbished clubhouse and were also given tours of the ground following some extensive work carried out during the summer.

They also had the chance to quiz the Kettering manager about his plans for next season.

And while Cox is giving nothing away to anyone about the identity of new signings the club has made, he has now confirmed the players will be back in for pre-season testing on July 18 before the proper pre-season training gets under way on the first weekend of August.

It’s understood that the new National League North campaign could be set to start in the middle of September.

And Cox said: “We are really pleased with the way things are going.

“We obviously mingled with a lot of fans at the weekend and there were a lot of questions asked about the squad.

“Fans want to be kept up to date. I want to be open and honest with them and the truth is that, at the moment, with the position we are in and not really knowing when we will start again, we are keeping the players we have signed very close to our chest.

“Don’t get me wrong, the time will come where we will let everybody know but we just feel it’s too early to be doing it at the moment.

“The plans are in place. We will be bringing the players in for fitness tests on July 18 and then we are due back in on Saturday, August 1 for pre-season.

“But we have explained to the players that date could be subject to change depending on other factors.

“But we have had a really good response from the players from their tests that we have been setting for them in the meantime.

“The boys have been keeping themselves in shape. It’s not like 20 years ago when players went on holiday and then hit pre-season overweight.

“Some of the times we have been getting from the players we have kept and the ones we have brought in have been brilliant and it shows they have the desire and that they are applying themselves well even during the closed season.”

Cox, meanwhile, felt there was a “positive vibe” around Latimer Park over the weekend.

The Poppies had a steady stream of fans coming along to take a look at the revamped ground while observing social distance guidelines.

“It was an excellent weekend for the club,” the Kettering manager added.

“It was great to see the amount of people who turned up and the common theme I felt from talking to them was that they were impressed with the hard work that has gone into everything.

“There was a positive vibe around the place. There was a lot of interest and the way people are seeing the club going forward is very encouraging."