Town Start Pre-Season Friendly Programme at Needham
Friday, 24th Jun 2022 18:22
Town get their pre-season friendly programme under way with a sell-out 60-minute game against Needham Market at Bloomfields on Saturday afternoon (KO 1pm).
The match will be played in two halves of 30 minutes with the teams subsequently taking part in a penalty shoot-out.
“I think the lads are looking forward to pulling the kit on and getting their first few minutes on Saturday,” manager Kieran McKenna told the club site.
“It will be a nice game for us and a nice game for Needham Market. We’re seeing it very much as an extension of our training week.
“We’re looking at two 30-minute halves and for each of the players that have trained with us this week to play 30 minutes.
“That will be an initial taster for them of wearing the new kit and stepping onto a match pitch, but they know that the serious business is yet to come.”
It’s likely McKenna could field a different XI in each half as is often the case in early pre-season friendlies.
New signings Freddie Ladapo, Dom Ball, Greg Leigh and Tyreece John-Jules look set to make their first appearances in Town shirts against the Southern League Premier Division Central club, who are managed by former Town midfielder Kevin Horlock.
Lee Evans and Kyle Edwards, two of those who were injured in the latter stages of last season, are expected to be involved but the game comes too soon for George Edmundson and Kayden Jackson.
Wes Burns and Elkan Baggott have been given additional time off having been on international duty with Wales and Indonesia respectively.
Youngsters Cameron Humphreys, Tawanda Chirewa, Albie Armin and Tommy Hughes have trained with the first-team squad and are likely to be involved.
Keeper Vaclav Hladky is set to make the short trip despite the ongoing discussions regarding his move to Aberdeen. According to a report in Scotland, Town want £300,000 for the Czech, matching the fee the Blues are understood to have paid Salford a year ago.
To mark Armed Forces Day, the teams will be walked out by military personnel ahead of kick-off, while free entry has been given to service personnel.
Following the match and the penalty shoot-out, the players will take part in a signing session with the sell-out 1,500-strong crowd.
Mark Steed, the chief executive officer of Arizona’s Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, the pension fund which owns a 90 per cent stake in Blues owner Gamechanger 20, will watch Town live for the first time since the takeover nearly 15 months ago.
Town have a wait before their second pre-season advertised friendly - against West Ham on Tuesday 12th July - although its expected they will play at least one behind closed doors game during their training camp at Loughborough University. A list of the Blues’ pre-season games can be found here.
Photo: Matchday Images
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