NEIL Aspin wil be keeping his fingers crossed that his players emerge with a clean bill of health after tomorrow’s Peter Swales Shield clash with Ashton United at Hurst Cross (3.0).
With just over a week to go before FC Halifax Town kick off their Blue Square North campaign at home to Corby, Aspin is looking to complete his pre-season preparations with a fit and healthy squad to give him the best chance of fielding his strongest side in the first game.
Aspin has been pleased with the way his side’s warm-up campaign has gone but said there were still players who needed to get up to speed as far as minutes on the pitch are concerned.
“I am looking to give those players who haven’t had 90 minutes a game tomorrow,” said Aspin. “There are six or seven who fit into that category and they are my priority.
“What I am looking for is to get all the players as match fit as possible and hopefully avoid picking up any injuries.
“That is something that can make or break a season. The last thing we want with a week to go is to have players missing.”
Aspin is experienced enough to have a good idea which players he will want to put out against Corby but said others still had a chance to alter his thinking.
“There is always time for a player to impress me, even at this stage, and I would expect them to want to push their names forward,” added Aspin.
“I want to have as many selection problems as possible which is why this final game, and training next week, is an important time for the players to really push on.”
Aspin is keen to get strike pair James Dean and Danny Holland up to peak performance so they will feature heavily tomorrow which means it is unlikely that the Town boss will involve Andy Fowler and Scott Spencer, who he cast his eyes over during Tuesday night’s 1-1 home draw with York.
And he is also looking to give midfielder Harry Winter another run-out after he played the final 15 minutes in midweek, although he will still be treated with kid gloves as he continues his recovery from knee surgery.
“I am under guidance from the physio as far as Harry is concerned, but I am hoping to give him a little more time on the pitch - perhaps 30 minutes,” said Aspin.
Town qualified to take part in this game by virtue of winning the Evo-Stik title last season with Ashton making up the opposition after winning the League Cup.
And despite the fact there is silverware on offer, which would no doubt give the winners a timely pre-season boost, Aspin’s focus remains on making sure his squad are ready for August 13.
“If we can get to the Corby game with no injuries and a fully fit set of players then I will be happy,” he said.
FC Halifax Town have confirmed that an initial stock of replica shirts for the 2011 - 2012 season will be available at Sunday’s open day at the Shay, 12 noon to 3pm.
The launch of the centenary book, 100 years of football in Halifax, is also confirmed for 1pm on the day.
There is still an opportunity for fans to pre book their place to sit alongside Neil Aspin and his team for the photo shoot at 12.30pm, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07751 110597 (after 6pm).
There are a number of stalls for the younger fans plus a bouncy castle before a game between fans and legends takes place on the pitch at 2pm.
Supporters also still have an opportunity to place a bid to play in the fans’ team by contacting Stewart Heaton on 07788 646157 or email email@example.com