10:01am, Tue 21st Jul 2009
I spoke to Graham for an update before tonightâ€™s friendly against a Fulham XI.
Graham said that he was very pleased with Saturdayâ€™s game at Kingstonian. It achieved its purpose in enabling players to improve their fitness levels by getting 45 minutes under their belt and giving further opportunities to some trialists to show what they could do. He was not concerned that we didnâ€™t threaten much up front since the main concentration so far has been at the back and in midfield. He pointed out that there are lots of games to come before the start of the season on 8 August.
He provided the names of the trialists I failed to identify on Saturday: in the second half the right back (No 21) was Ricky Anane; the big centre forward was Jake Reid (No 19) and James Davies was the left-footed striker (No 22). Academy player Matthew Ferdinando was the sub for Delano Sam-Yorke. All three of the trialists mentioned are still in the reckoning.
Turning to this eveningâ€™s game, Graham expects to involve some 18/19 players, making substitutions in the second half. Some players will therefore get 60 minutes or so on the pitch. New loan signing Luke Medley joined up with the squad yesterday and will play tonight. Graham is also expecting Peter Vincenti from Stevenage Borough to play in a strikerâ€™s role: he is playing with a view to a possible loan signing. There might be another new trialist.
Sam Sloma has been playing in a futsal tournament for England in Israel. He returns today but wonâ€™t be appearing tonight. Jerome Maledon is still unfit but Charlie Moone is expected to play some part.
The trialist goalkeeper who appeared in the unofficial friendlies is injured but is expected to re-join the squad shortly.
Graham says that he plans to make final decisions on trialists after Saturdayâ€™s game at AFC Totton. It is unlikely that any new trialists will join the squad after that game.