FANS TO DECIDE SIZE OF BUDGET

MARK COOPER says a big turn-out for tomorrow's A-Line Tournament will let him complete his new-look Kettering Town squad with two more signings.

Former Premiership stars Gianfranco Zola, Gus Poyet, Les Ferdinand and Gianluca Festa are being joined by World Cup winner Christian Karembeu for the fun-filled afternoon which kicks off with a derby date between the Poppies and Rothwell Town.

Kettering chairman Imraan Ladak admits that Cooper’s final budget for next season depends on the success of the tournament.

He said: “I have no idea how many people will be at the tournament or how many shirts we will sell so it is a case of waiting until then to see.

“The money generated from the tournament will determine the final budget for Mark. The more people there, the more he has to spend.

“We’ve brought Zola to play for us – apart from a Zidane or Cantona I don’t think we could do much more. Having said that, ticket sales are going well and we are anticipating a great day.”

Cooper added: “I hope we get a lot of people there to enable us to bring in one or two new players.

“We need a goalkeeper and maybe another centre-half. Otherwise I’m very happy with the squad.

“Tomorrow will be great for our players just to be around top professionals. Hopefully they can pick up a few things as well as getting more fitness as we build up slowly towards August 11.

“Pre-season has gone well for us so far. We’ve had 11 days of hard work and we’re looking pretty good at the moment.”

Summer signings David Bridges and Jon Brady will both miss out due to slight knocks – although they should return for Wednesday’s home friendly with Northampton Town.

Meanwhile Rothwell chairman Peter Bradley described participating in the tournament as “a brilliant way to start pre-season”.

“It will be a marvellous experience for our lads to play against some of the players that are being lined up for this event,” he said.

“Of course, we’ll be wearing A-Line kit next season as well and this is a good way for us to do our bit for them.”

The first semi-final over 55 minutes between Kettering and Rothwell starts at 12.30pm, followed by St Albans City against Hemel Hempstead Town at 1.40pm (45 minutes). The third/fourth-place play-off is at 2.40pm (45 minutes) and the final is due to kick off at 3.45pm (60 minutes).

Tickets for the Main Stand cost 10 adults, 8 OAPs and 5 children. Admission to all aother areas is 8, 6 or 4. Poppies supporters can also buy the new replica shirt for just 10 with a ticket bought in advance.