Darlington midfielder Tom Portas says that there is plenty of competition for places in the Quakers’ starting line up this season.
Tom, who won the goal of the season award two seasons ago with that cracker against Bamber Bridge, knows that he will have to fight for his place in midfield, starting on Saturday in the Vanarama National League North against Altrincham
“Nobody’s place is guaranteed in the team, because there’s a lot of competition for places,” he said. “There is something to fight for – if you don’t perform, then the manager will probably leave you out.
“The players that Martin has brought into the changing room have added quality and strength in depth to the squad.
“We’ve made good progress in our pre-season games, and there have been some good performances, especially the one against Sunderland.
“After the game last Saturday against Barnsley, I would have gone straight into a league game because I think we’re in really good shape.”
Quakers had one of their finest ever moments when they won the NPL championship last season, but Tom points out; “Martin has told us to forget about winning the NPL title last season. The championship is in the past.
“We have a good set of players with a good manager, and we’re ready to move on again and do well this season.
“Our targets are high. We have good quality and strength in depth, and we’re hoping for the play offs. But we said the same last season around about now and look what happened!”
Quakers are crossing swords with some of their old Football League rivals like Boston, Stockport, Halifax and Kidderminster, but Tom points out: “It doesn’t matter which club we’re playing, we’re going into every game wanting to win.”