10:32am, Sat 2nd Jul 2022
Woking vs Arsenal U23s
Tuesday 5th July 2022
Woking return to action on Tuesday evening as they host Arsenal’s Under-23 side in their first pre-season friendly ahead of the 2022/23 National League campaign.
Manager Darren Sarll has had a productive summer thus far, signing eight new players, many of whom could make their first appearances for the club in this game. Sarll’s new additions include experienced striker Padraig Amond, who scored 37 times in all competitions when he last played at this level for Grimsby Town in 2015/16, as well as fellow forwards Ricky Korboa, James Daly, and Reece Grego-Cox.
Winger Korboa made his name at Carshalton Athletic but has played in the Football League for the past two years, featuring for Northampton Town and Sutton United. Versatile left-sided forward Daly has also played in the Football League, for Bristol Rovers and Stevenage, whilst ex-Crawley striker Grego-Cox will be familiar to Woking fans from his previous loan spell with the club in 2018.
Sarll has also added significant defensive reinforcements, with veteran centre-back Scott Cuthbert joining from Stevenage, to pair up with former Yeovil Town general Luke Wilkinson. The duo will be competing with Joe McNerney for the centre-back positions. Exciting young full-back Dan Moss, another of Sarll’s former Yeovil players, has joined from Millwall after spending time on loan with the Glovers last season, whilst American goalkeeper Ethan Wady has joined on loan from Chelsea, following in the footsteps of former Woking Player of the Year Nathan Baxter.
The Cards have 16 players signed up in total, having also retained the likes of Jack Roles and Jermaine Anderson, whilst academy Player of the Year Trevor Caborn has been training with the first-team. That squad will likely be complimented by a handful of trialists as Sarll and assistant Ian Dyer seek out the final additions to compliment a hugely promising squad.
Arsenal’s Under-23s were coached last season by legendary Woking midfielder Kevin Betsy, but he departed this summer to take the first-team job at Crawley Town, meaning his seat in the dugout will likely be taken by Academy Manager and former Gunners player Per Mertesacker.
It’s always difficult to predict which players are likely to feature in an Under-23s side, although last summer a similar Chelsea development side featured Armando Broja, who subsequently became a regular in Southampton’s first-team last season, Brazilian winger Kenedy, and former Woking striker Jayden Wareham.
Several of Arsenal’s more high-profile youth players have already agreed loan deals for the forthcoming season, including defender Harry Clarke who will be at Stoke City, and forward Tyreece John-Jules, who has joined Ipswich Town. But their squad still includes the highly rated Charlie Patino, who scored in the EFL Cup last season, Mexican international Marcelo Flores, Estonian international goalkeeper Karl Hein, who featured for Championship side Reading on loan last year, and midfielder Matt Smith, who played almost 50 games for Doncaster Rovers last season. Regardless of who features, there will be some future stars on show.
Ticket prices are set at £12 for adults (including all Concessions and Next-Gen supporters) and £6 for under 16s. 2022/23 season ticket holders will receive complimentary admission to the match.
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