Donnelly - ‘The players are looking sharp’

Belper's players get instructions during training. Photo: Belper Town FC
Belper's players get instructions during training. Photo: Belper Town FC

Belper Town will go into their first pre-season friendly of the summer on Saturday in good shape according to new joint-manager Paul Donnelly.

The Nailers squad returned to training last weekend with Donnelly and Anthony Danylyk leading them for the first time.

And, as they prepare to travel to Coleshill Town on Saturday, Donnelly says he was impressed with what he saw.

He said: “The first session back is always a tough one for the lads but I thought they looked sharp. I’m happy with the first session and we had good numbers there as well despite a few still being on holiday.

“We want to play football first and foremost so there will be a lot of work with the ball early on. There will also obviously be fitness work and we had them do quite a bit of running in the first session.

“It’s important to make sure that we get the balance right between the fitness work and getting the players working on the ball, but there will definitely be a lot of work with the ball because that’s ultimately how we want to play.”

The first training session featured a lot of familiar faces for Nailers fans and a handful of new players as well that are being monitored by the new management team.

Donnelly added: “We’re still working very hard to get some players in. We’ve had a few trainings with us and we’ve secured quite a few of the squad from last year which was a priority for us when we first got here.

“There is still a lot of work to be done but we still have a bit of time in pre-season so we are confident that we can get a good squad out there and hit the ground running at the start of next season.”

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Coleshill, Donnelly is looking forward to the beginning of the games and hopes that the shape of the team will begin to form over those matches.

He said: “Pre-season is always about getting fitness into the legs as well as working on the shape and how we want to play with the players.

“It’s always better for the players and for the management when the games get started, you prefer to be playing than training really.

“There will be a lot of hard work to do as we want to stamp our authority onto how we want the team to play, we’ll be working on a lot of things in the pre-season games as well as giving a lot of the good young players at the club a chance so we can see how they cope with things.”

The visit to Coleshill Town kicks off at 3 pm, with the next friendly scheduled to be at Quorn a week later.