Brackley's preparation has been 'far from ideal'

Boss Kevin Wilkin admits pre-season hasn't gone as smoothly as he would have wanted
Brackley Town manager Kevin WilkinBrackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin
Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin

Kevin Wilkin admits Brackley Town’s preparation for the new National League North season has been “far from ideal”.

The Saints returned to friendly action last weekend with a 2-1 victory over league rivals Kettering Town in a Newlands Shield clash at St James Park thanks to goals from Gareth Dean and summer signing Brad Rolt.

It was only Brackley’s third pre-season outing after the squad were forced into isolation following a case of Covid-19 within the ranks.

They were due to play another game against Daventry Town behind closed doors on Tuesday night, the only other friendly lined up is tomorrow (Saturday) when they host National League South outfit Oxford City.

And, with the opening game of the new league campaign at Chorley now just over a week away, boss Wilkin concedes his team face the prospect of being undercooked for the early stages.

“It’s far from ideal preparation and Saturday was only our third game in pre-season, it’s nowhere near enough,” the Saints manager said.

“We are not where we need to be and we have been notoriously slow starters in previous seasons so we will just have to see what happens.

“It’s certainly not the preparations we would have hoped for.

“It was nice to have a game again.

“Having been out of it for so long and then having interrupted preparation for the new season, it’s going to make life tough for us.

“But we have to get on with it, it was good to play a game.

“Both sides had a go, both sides played to win and both had good chances. The idea of playing against local clubs in a small level cup competition is a good idea.

“It puts an edge on the game and you need that. Pre-season can be a bit sterile at times and both teams certainly wanted to win and we were pleased to come out on the right side of it.”

Brackley, meanwhile, have added two new signings to their ranks with Alex Prosser joining from Kidderminster Harriers having previously spent time on loan at Brackley while at Aston Villa.

Wilkin has also snapped up forward Twariq Yusuf who has impressed in pre-season.

“Alex was with us for a short period before and has been away at Kidderminster and gained some experience at this level,” Wilkin added.

“It’s new to Twariq and a number of the players we have recruited this summer are new to this level. That will be a challenge to get them up to speed as soon as possible.

“But they are good, honest lads who have been showing up well in training and we are looking forward to working with them and progressing them as players and us as a team.”