Eastbourne Borough boss Tommy Widdrington will be taking a 20-strong squad to the club’s first pre-season friendly with AFC Totton tomorrow (Saturday), with a view to signing a couple more players before the season begins next month.
The Sports will travel to Hampshire with a solid core of first-team players who have already signed on the dotted line - a figure which now stands at 12 following Sam Cole’s decision to extend his stay at the club.
A selection of academy players and trialists will also make the trip to the Testwood Stadium hoping to impress the boss ahead of the 2013-14 season opener in four week’s time.
Widdrington said, “It didn’t surprise me when Sam signed on. We’d had a lot of positive talks and I was never concerned he’d go elsewhere because I knew the ins and outs of it.
“I want to add probably two more signings, possibly three. I’m definitely going to be using parts of the academy and some of the lads on trial, but I’ll have a better idea about those once we’ve played a few games.”
Plying their trade in the Southern Premier Division - the regional equivalent of the Ryman Premier, just one tier below the Conference South - AFC Totton present an unfamiliar challenge for most of the Borough boys.Despite this, Widdrington insists his men are fully-fit and raring to go.
He added, “Everyone’s looking forward to it - the lad’s are sick of running now.If this weather continues, it will be very tough on them. I won’t expect any of them to play over 45 minutes on Saturday, so I’ll be taking 20 or so players with me.
“That’s not because they’re stuggling with fitness or anything - I have no doubt they’d be capable of playing a lot longer - but in this heat, you have to look after them, keep them hydrated. It’s not worth risking injury.
“I don’t think these two clubs have ever met before but we’ll go there and give them the respect they deserve.”