It's taking shape for Poppies as big kick-off approaches

Kettering Town manager Nicky Eaden
Kettering Town manager Nicky Eaden

It has been a productive week for Kettering Town.

The Poppies picked up their first pre-season win on Saturday as trialist Elliot Hodge scored the only goal of the game against a Northampton Town XI at Latimer Park.

And that was quickly followed by another friendly success at Barwell on Tuesday night as Brett Solkhon’s penalty and further goals from Michael Richens and Lindon Meikle sealed a 3-0 victory.

But, more importantly, the Poppies squad really seems to be taking shape as the opening day of the Vanarama National League North campaign approaches.

Kettering added former Hednesford Town defender Javan Vidal and ex-Brackley Town frontman Daniel Nti to their squad at the weekend.

And, earlier this week, they completed a second raid of the summer on Corby Town to sign midfielder Joel Carta, who struck 28 goals for the Steelmen last season.

Further additions are expected before AFC Telford United come to Latimer Park for the curtain-raiser a week on Saturday.

But Nicky Eaden insists the club won’t be breaking the bank to put the final touches to it.

The new Poppies manager was pleased with the squad already in place when he took over from Marcus Law last month.

While it has taken time to make the signings the club wanted, Eaden insists it has all been done to the budget that was set.

And the Kettering boss believes the club can follow the lead of the likes of league and county rivals Brackley Town when it comes to establishing themselves at the higher level after their title success last season.

“I think we have all seen a lot of it at non-League - the boom and bust,” Eaden said.

“Someone will come in a chuck a load of money at a club with no real thought about the next 10 games, let alone the next 10 years.

“Then they will fall out of love with it and pull the money and the club goes pop.

“You have seen how the likes of Brackley have built themselves up. It’s got to be sustainable.

“From the conversations I have had with Ritchie (owner Jeune) and Dave (chairman Mahoney), that’s something they are looking to do.

“They don’t want to make promises they can’t keep and stretch the club. They want to try to break even and I have no problem with that at all.”

The Poppies round off their first-team pre-season fixtures with a home game against an Oxford United XI at Latimer Park tonight (Friday) while the club will also send a team to take on Kettering Nomads in a special match to celebrate Nomads’ 60th anniversary next Tuesday evening.