Ex-Rams star signs up as first friendly nears

FORMER Derby County star Lee Morris has become the latest player to join the Eastwood Town ranks as the club prepares for its opening pre-season friendly.

Morris, 31, who joins as player/coach, spent the early part of his career as a regular for firstly Sheffield United and then in the Premier League with the Rams, before his progress was hampered by a knee injury.

That saw him drop down the leagues with the likes of Yeovil Town, Burton Albion and Hereford United, and last season he was at Kidderminster Harriers in the Conference Premier.

And, as the Badgers’ squad continues to grow, with other signing expected in the coming days, joint boss Craig Armstrong is happy with the way things are progressing.

He said: “We’ve made some really good signings and they’re all gelling well in training, both in a football and a social sense.

“We have one or two others with us who things could happen with too, so there’s still scope for more additions.”

Friendly

Eastwood head to the Peak District next Tuesday night for their first friendly, at Evo-Stik Premier League side Buxton.

It will be the first of nine warm-up games during July and August ahead of the new season, and Armstrong says it will be good to finally see the squad in a match situation.

“We’re expecting to take a squad of around 20 to Buxton and all of them will play for at least 45 minutes,” he said.

“It will be a good blowout for them and a chance for Jamie and I to have a detailed look at how they perform in a match scenario.

“Obviously I’ll be playing too and I feel pretty fit at the moment, particularly having done a lot of private fitness work on top of the training sessions with the other lads.

“I played at the Yorkshire Masters which was hard work but I felt fine and I’m raring to go.”

Fixtures

Meanwhile, the Blue Square Bet North fixtures were announced on Tuesday with Eastwood facing a home clash with Droylsden as their opener on Saturday, August 13.

Two tricky away trips follow against Solihull Moors and newly-promoted Colwyn Bay, before a home double against Gloucester and Worcester precede a Bank Holiday trip to Corby.

The Christmas and New Year programme will see a double-header against Boston United, and the last match of the season will be a long trip to Hertfordshire play Bishop’s Stortford, who have been relocated from the Blue Square Bet South.

Armstrong said: “It’s good to have the first game at home and hopefully there will be a good crowd to see it.

“There are going to be lots of highs and lows next season, that’s inevitable, and there are so many good sides in the division next year, but we can’t wait to get started.”