Preparations going well as Welfare host first friendly

Football
Football

Kimberley Miners Welfare will begin their pre-season campaign next Tuesday as they prepare for life in the East Midlands Counties League.

It will be Welfare’s first experience at step six of the non-league pyramid, their first fixture set to be a trip to Holbrook Sports on Saturday, August 9.

And new boss Paul Rawden says things are progressing well as preparations continue at pace.

He said: “We’ve had some good training sessions with around 35 players attending each one so it’s been good to take a look at a decent selection of them.

“I think we’ve got the good nucleus of a squad now but I’m still keen to get some good quality players in if I can. Players are obviously considering their options at the moment and as we don’t have any kind of budget to speak of we’re obviously competing against some clubs that have, but I think we’ll be able to attract a few more.

“The team we have already will, I believe, be good enough to compete in the EMCL but there are just one or two pieces of the jigsaw missing.”

Welfare will host Dunkirk next Tuesday night in their first friendly game, the match being played at the club’s former Digby Street ground while the Stag Ground continues to undergo changes to prepare it for the new campaign.

Rawden said: “What we’re aiming to do is get some of the first team and reserve team friendlies played on the same day at the same venue so we can give players more minutes, in turn giving us a chance to assess them more accurately.

“I think the side that faces Dunkirk will probably be 60-70 per cent of the team that will begin the season, as some lads have only just returned from holiday and there will hopefully be additions to the squad in due course.”

Welfare’s reserve team will play in Division One of the Notts Senior League next season, with Kimberley Miners Welfare AFC taking up a place in NSL Division Two.

Following the opener against Holbrook, the club’s first EMCL game at the Stag Ground will be at home to Greenwood Meadows on Saturday, August 16.

To see a list of Kimberley’s fixtures up until the end of January, see page 42.