Places are up for grabs as season edges closer

Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson
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Ilkeston FC manager Kevin Wilson says his options are very much open in terms of his starting eleven with the new season just over a week away.

The Robins conclude their pre-season campaign at Mickleover Sports on Friday night (1oth, 7.15pm) before their opening game at home to AFC Fylde on August 18.

And although Wilson has had a good look at his players over the last month since they returned to action, he expects competition for places to remain high.

He said: “Lots of players have had plenty of minutes on the pitch and on the whole we’re in really good shape.

“There are a few carrying knocks which has affected the teams I’ve put out in the last couple of games but generally I’m happy with how things look.

“Having said that, there are still areas of the team where I’m very open as to who might start on August 18. It’s now up to the players to stake their claim and prove to me they’re worth picking.”

Wilson says he expects to pick as strong a side as he can for the game at Mickleover, with it being the last opportunity to run the rule over his squad before the big kick-off.

He’ll then undertake a scouting mission to Leek Town on Saturday where opening opponents Fylde will also be completing their pre-season schedule.

“Pre-season is all about preparation and being ready for those first five or six games that come thick and fast and where fitness will really start to pick up,” he said.

“So Friday’s game may be something of a dress rehearsal for the opener, although I may have to leave one or two out as I don’t want to risk their injuries too much.

“I’ll then have a good look at Fylde as I’d imagine they’ll also have a team that will resemble the one they’ll bring to the New Manor Ground.

“They had a good start to pre-season though have had a couple of heavy defeats recently.

“But they’ve spent a bit of money and have great ambition so we have to be ready for what will be a really tough test.”