Healthy competition for places at Belper Town - Grant Black

Belper town v Stocksbridge Park Steels. Saturday 9th March. Belper Town manager Grant Black.
Belper town v Stocksbridge Park Steels. Saturday 9th March. Belper Town manager Grant Black.

Belper Town boss Grant Black has already hinted at a healthy competition for places in the Nailers’ camp after their first pre-season match.

Saturday saw Belper travel to take on Thorne Colliery of the Central Midlands Football League and return with a hatful of goals and impressive performances.

Black was pleased with the attitude among the group, including a selection of trialists, who he will take a closer look at over the coming days.

He said: “It was a good run out. We thank Thorne. It was a really good pitch against a team who are a couple of leagues below us. We knew we’d get a lot of possession but they tried to play in the right way. They’re physical and direct like teams will be in our league.

“We had six or seven of the new lads all playing and then trialists as well - it was good to see them and they all equipped themselves well.

“There were some really good performances. We don’t take too much away from the 10-0 scoreline but individually there were some good displays.

“I think we got a lot out of it.”

And added: “There were 20-odd players at the training sessions and we explained to all of them what we expect and how we want to play.

“We went through each position so whoever plays a certain role knows exactly what their role is. They all took that on board on Saturday.

“We tried a few lads in positions we weren’t sure if they could play in but they did really well - there were a lot of positives. In my mind I thought I’d cut it down this week but after so many good performances on Saturday it’s only fair that some of them get the chance this weekend.”

The Nailers are on the road again this coming Saturday away to Armthorpe Welfare of the Northern Counties East League.

And, in terms of selection, Black admitted there was plenty to think about between now and then.

He said: “You’re never really quite sure what you’re going to get with some of the lads that get in touch and want a trial but a couple of them really stood out.

“They’ve made it really difficult. There were a few lads who were here last year who missed the weekend game against Thorne.

“If you miss games and miss sessions, even in pre-season, then others are putting themselves in front. That’s what happened at the weekend so those who missed out will have to train even harder and put a performance in the next game to get themselves back in front.”