TOWN’S players get their first chance to impress boss Neil Aspin ahead of the club’s first season in Blue Square Bet North when they face Mossley in the first game of pre-season at Seel Park tomorrow (2.0).
And the Town manager, who has made eight summer signings following promotion from the Evo Stik Premier Division, has made it clear that he is starting the campaign with a blank sheet of paper as far as team selection is concerned.
“Managers say that pre-season games are not important,” he said. “Of course I would prefer to win them than lose them.
“But they are important for the structure of the team and formation.
“When I first took the job I had a formation in mind that was looking OK.
“Then we went to Stalybridge and played a formation that did exceptionally well and that changed my opinion.
“At this stage there are lots of thoughts and if you asked me now what my team would be at the start of the season I couldn’t tell you.
“Everyone has competition for their places and I am not bothered who starts.
“I just want the players who are looking sharp and doing the business.
“Tomorrow is a warm up exercise which will be good for us.
“Everyone who starts pre season training has high hopes and I know there is an expectation level.”
Of the new arrivals, only Ryan Toulson is definitely missing tomorrow because he is away.
Striker Danny Holland and goalkeeper Phil Senior will also be absent as will James Dean and Harry Winter who are continuing their rehabilitation from injury.
Anton Foster and Jack Dorney will not be risked if they have not fully recovered from minor problems but Jamie Vardy, the subject of a transfer bid from Stockport County this week, is set to feature.
New keeper Simon Eastwood, defenders Scott McManus, David Haggerty and Gregg Anderson, and midfielder Liam Needham are all expected to be seen in a Halifax shirt for the first time.
The game is a departure from the Shaymen’s traditional pre-season opener with neighbours Brighouse Town.
But Aspin is pleased with the game for a couple of reasons.
“Their manager Gareth McClelland, who used to be at Woodley Sports, was helpful scouting for us when he was out of a job,” said Aspin.
“And the fact that we have been back three weeks and have made some signings makes it a good game for us.”