Deakin happy as Robins return

Ian Deakin
Ian Deakin

Ilkeston Town player/assistant manager Ian Deakin was satisfied with his side’s first pre-season run out of the summer on Saturday as the Robins beat Rossington Main 2-0.

Goals from trialists Elliot Reeves and Ryan Whitehurst capped a dominant display which saw 23 players get minutes in an Ilkeston shirt.

And Deakin, who took charge of the team in the absence of manager Steve Chettle, said he took heart from what he saw.

He said: “It was auseful workout for us and a game where we dominated possession.

“Everybody got 45 minutes, except for Charlie Jemson who got 60, and everybody looked in good shape.

“It was good to see the lads with us on trial score the goals. Both took them well and we’ll be talking to them this week as they could well be players we will look to keep hold of.

“The gaffer had identified areas in which we wanted to strengthen, up front being one of them, and with virtually all of last season’s squad signed up we aim to have plenty of depth in all positions.”

Deakin says that with the current squad size in mind, he doesn’t anticipate too many more new faces to add to those already recruited.

He said: “We can’t take everyone but lots of people want to join us such is the way this club is moving forward.

“We always said that the lads from last season all deserved a chance to show what they can do this time but we obviously need fresh faces too.

“The gaffer believes that the best in each position will start the season, but it’s important to have that strength in depth to keep pressure on.

“We had 23 players at Rossington and are likely to have similar numbers at Underwood on Saturday and then for the Notts County game (at Basford United) next Tuesday, so we’ll have to trim things down eventually but we still want to look at the options.”

As for Deakin himself, injury means he expects to miss at least the first half of the season, with Jamie Hannis and Liam Mitchell likely to battle it out for the number one jersey.

He said: “I’m due to have a cruciate ligament operation which will keep me out for a while, so I’ll be focusing on the coaching side of things in the meantime and we have two very good goalkeepers, both of whom I believe can play at higher levels.

“Once I’m fit again then I could well want to challenge for a place in the team, but I realise I’m heading towards the twilight of my career now so my body may be the thing that decides it.

“I still have the hunger, as do other experienced lads like Chris Shaw and Martin Lench, and I think we also offer good support to the younger players too.”

Deakin added that the vibe around the New Manor Ground remains good as the season nears, saying: “It’s testament to the great work being put in by so many around the club, on and off the pitch, that the buzz is as good as it is right now and we’re really excited about the next stage in our development.”