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Getting the right blend

With just one week to go until the start of the Evo-Stik Premier Division season, FC United’s assistant manager Roy Soule is unconcerned by the Reds’ mixed-bag of results in the pre-season build up.

Having won four and lost four could leave some supporters wondering whether or not our build up to this campaign has been a success but Soule is in no doubt.

He said: “In pre-season, I’m more interested in performances than results and they’ve been good overall. We’ve given 25 or more players the opportunity to show what they can do, so obviously sometimes it’s going to work, other times it isn’t.

“The most important thing about pre-season is getting the right blend in the team. We need to see the strengths and weaknesses of all the new players and that’s what we’ve been doing.”

Soule has been impressed by what he’s seen. “The application and attitude of the players has been quality. The team spirit is really good. They all enjoy themselves at training, have a laugh together when the time’s right but they also work very hard.

“Whether we can keep all of the players is another matter though,” admits Soule. “It’s unfair to keep players hanging around. They all need to be getting games and we understand that, so we may have to name a final squad and allow others to move on.

“It could be a squad of around 20 players but first we need to speak to all of the players individually to get their thoughts.”

Steve Torpey is back at the club after spending the last few months coaching in the USA and played in Thursday night’s match against Clitheroe. Soule is pleased to have the experienced forward back but added: “Torpey will have to get up to the playing level of fitness. He’s looking trim and it’s good to see him back playing after his injury problems over the last couple of years but he needs to get match fit now.”

English Schools FA Under-18 International Scott Cheetham also played in that match but Soule believes the young midfielder has a way to go before staking a claim for a first team spot. He said: “Scott is on a learning curve but there may be opportunities further down the line for him. It’s all about development, time and patience for both the player and the club.”

Meanwhile, fellow youth team graduate Matthew Tierney will not be in a Red shirt again any time soon. Soule said: “Matty was in our plans but we’ve not seen or heard from him. He’s suspended until mid-October as far as I’m aware and he’s decided not to come down to training. He’s been given a good opportunity and he’s not taken it.”

FC United play Stalybridge Celtic at our second home of Bower Fold on Saturday afternoon and have a trip to Trafford on Tuesday night before the season starts in earnest on Saturday 13th August at Evo-Stik new boys Stafford Rangers. Get yourself to those football grounds.

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First Posted ~ 12:17 Mon 8 Aug 2011
News ID ~ 3681
Last Updated ~ 12:17 Mon 8 Aug 2011