New Salisbury striker Marvin Brooks is jetting back today from Miami for the friendly at home to Oldham Athletic tonight (Wednesday July 12th, 7.45pm) and has insisted to manager Steve Claridge that he wants to make his first appearance for the club.
Marvin will take his place in a stronger Whites squad than the one which lost to Portsmouth 3-0 in the first friendly with a host of players now back from holiday and raring to go.
Among the other new signings, defender Jake Wannell will also make his debut while Mark Francis is expected also to appear. Chris Shephard, however, is still struggling with a calf injury. Winger Flavio Tavares, who scored a hat-trick against Chichester City last week, is also set for another appearance.
“Marvin was really keen to play when I spoke to him and I’m sure he would have kept himself in good shape when he was on holiday,” said Steve. “It will be good for him to get a bit of a run-out.”
Steve is expecting his team to take better shape tonight and is anticipating a good game against League One Latics who like to play a passing game.
“I’m looking for us to be organised and vocal, which is something we need to improve on,” he said.
“I’m not expecting a perfect performance. I just want people to get to know each other’s games, learn how we want to play and bed themselves down. I’m just looking for people to progress.
“It’ll also be good to see Jake Wannell. He looked good in training, strong and quick. He’s one of several we need to integrate as we work on our pattern of play.”
Oldham, who are based this week at Bath University and will play Swindon Town behind closed doors on Friday, beat Stalybridge Celtic in their opening friendly last Saturday and will clearly pose a big test.
“I expect them to knock the ball around,” added Steve. “They like to get it down and play. It should be a good game.
“They will be looking to improve on last season and I expect them to be blooding a few young players alongside their more experienced ones.
“It should be a good work-out that will suit everyone. Hopefully we will see a bit more of the ball than we did against Pompey, although that was a good exercise for us in playing without the ball and we did well to hold them 0-0 at half time.”