Robins return in good shape

Ilkeston and Mickleover Sports met in pre-season last year and will do so again on August 10.
Ilkeston and Mickleover Sports met in pre-season last year and will do so again on August 10.

ILKESTON FC’s players returned for pre-season training this week with manager Kevin Wilson pleased by the enthusiasm shown.

With so many of last season’s promotion-winning squad retained, the onus will be on continuing the momentum gained from that success into the new campaign.

And having got the first two training sessions out of the way, Wilson is already looking forward to what lies ahead.

He said: “I’ve been pleased because even though we’ve only had a couple of sessions, everyone has come back in good shape and raring to go.

“Because of that, I’m alreadylooking forward to getting them into match situations and seeing how they’re shaping up.

“There are still a few on holiday so we by no means had the full quota, and we’re a bit ahead of some other clubs in terms of starting back, but I’m happy with what I saw.”

A number of trialists are spending time at Ilkeston during pre-season with Wilson open to making offers to any who impress.

“We’ve got a good squad base already but there’s a chance to have a look at some new players and put them into matches in the coming weeks,” he added.

“At the moment it’s all about getting the fitness levels back up, and that’s what the emphasis will be in the first couple of friendlies rather than anything else, but places are up for grabs in the team.”

Ilkeston’s first friendly will take place on Saturday, July 7 against Skegness United, with free entry for all fans as part of a Family Day organised by the club.

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Ilkeston FC’s pre-season friendly schedule is now complete after Mickleover Sports agreed to come to the New Manor Ground on Friday, August 10.

The two sides met in pre-season last year but changed places in the league structure following Sports’ relegation from the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

A kick-off time for the match has yet to be confirmed, but manager Kevin Wilson said: “Bearing in mind that we had an excellent response last season to the decision to play our midweek games on a Monday evening, we are interested to see how people respond to Friday night football.”