Injury doubts delay team selection
COLWYN BAY player-boss Dave Challinor will have to wait for late fitness checks on a number of players before he can finalise his starting line-up for the tough opening Evostik Premier League fixture at North Ferriby United.
Defensive midfielder David Thompson and goalkeeper Chris Sanna, who today had a shock request to be put on the transfer list granted by the club, both missed training on Thursday night and there are also injury doubts over Damien Allen (thigh) and Alex Titchiner (ankle).
"It is not the ideal situation going into the first game and we may have to take a couple of extra squad players with us so we can leave a decision until as late as possible," said Challinor.
"I know the team I would like to pick, but whether that will be possible is another matter."
Challinor's continuing efforts to strengthen the squad suffered another blow this week when his hopes of getting Fleetwood striker Nick Rogan on loan were dashed when he decided to go to Chester instead.
"It has been very frustrating because a few players we have tried to get have decided to go elsewhere (two of them to Chester), but we will keep trying and I think you will see a few comings and goings around the clubs over the next couple of weeks," said Challinor.
"I would have liked to have been able to bring in a couple more experienced players, but overall I am happy with the squad we've got," he added.
"One or two have some catching up to do after missing some of the pre-season training and they probably need another couple of weeks, but everyone is raring to go and looking forward to the challenge.
"I know some people are already writing us off, but we'll be going out to prove them wrong.
"North Ferriby is a tough start for us because they were in the play-offs last season and will be keen to get off to a good start again, but we have had them watched and believe we can go there and get a result."
Although the Bay have secured striker Karl Noon from Vauxhall Motors, I have felt the one area for concern in the pre-season games has been in the final third of the field, which makes this week's loss of Rogan to Chester (who already have a strong strikeforce with the likes of Michael Wilde and ex-Bay forwards Rob Hopley and Adriano Rigoglioso) all the more frustrating.
The Bay squad worked hard on free kicks and corners in training on Thursday and they could provide the opportunity to pinch a crucial goal.
Challinor explained: "We are not the biggest side, so we need to be a bit clever with our set pieces. We have been working on a few ideas and hopefully that will pay off."
North Ferriby manager Neil Allison admits that after getting to the play-offs last season, anything less than that this time round will be seen as failure.
They have been conceding a few goals in pre-season games, but the manager says: "I think we'll be stronger with the new players we have brought in. The nucleus of last season's squad are still here and they'll be more experienced now at this level. They will have learned from last year and know what is expected."
He has added some experienced newcomers to the squad, including former Altrincham and Gainsborough Trinity defender Paul Ellender and ex-Grimsby Town and Scunthorpe veteran Paul Harsley.
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