Work to do as Belper are hammered in opening friendly

Belper Town v Kings Lynn Town. 'Haydn Goddard fires off a first half shot.
Belper Town v Kings Lynn Town. 'Haydn Goddard fires off a first half shot.

Belper Town admitted they have plenty of work to do after losing two key players and then being hammered 6-0 in their opening pre-season friendly at Coleshill Town on Saturday.

Preparation for the game was rocked by the departure of midfielders Haydn Goddard and Mike Armstrong to Stamford and now new joint boss Ant Danylyk is hoping to be able to replace them before this Saturday’s game at Quorn.

“It’s not the start we wanted,” said Danylyk.

“No one wants to lose by that scoreline. Fans may look at that and think it’s a disaster but it is not important to us.

“Anyone who went to the game and saw the amount of new faces knows that.

“You can’t normally take any positives from a result like that but there were one or two performances that were better than the result suggests and put them in contention.

“But it wasn’t great and we now need to use these next couple of games to look at things.”

It is a steep learning curve for Danylyk and fellow joint boss Rob Donnelly after only taking over the club this summer.

“Obviously we don’t know a great deal about the current squad,” said Danylyk.

“We have three or four still away on holiday and a couple more still to go away before the end of the month. So it’s difficult to get everyone together at the moment.

“The main thing for us pre-season is to have a look at a few new lads who have been training with us and lads that have been coming through.

“We got battered on Saturday. But we only had five lads out there from the first team last year. The rest were U21s and trialists.

“The result looks bad - it looks an embarrassing one, but we’re not concerned with the results at the minute.

“We just want to see who we’ve got around the club at the minute and hopefully some of them will come good for us, though we know we still have to bring a couple in.

“We have a game on Saturday, so we are hoping to get a couple in by the back end of the week.”

Losing two players late last week has been another blow for the new bosses.

“We lost a couple of lads last week so we’ve got to do a bit more rebuilding than we thought we’d have to do,” said Danylyk.

“Haydn Goddard and Mike Armstrong are both central midfielders and that was an area of the pitch in which we struggled on Saturday.

“They left quite late on before the game on Saturday, but it is expected. It’s part and parcel of non-League football with players moving about.

“Now we have to do a bit of business ourselves and we have a couple lined up.”

He added: “There is also a bit of work to do on fitness. There are some whose fitness is quite good while there are some who were thrown into a game straight after coming back from holiday and need one or two sessions.

“Hopefully two weeks down the line you’ll see a big improvement and hopefully the lads will get their match sharpness back having blown a few cobwebs away on Saturday.”