Team spirit will be key

No stone is being left unturned during what will undoubtedly be a very short close season for Heanor Town players to ensure next season will be one to remember.

Training will commence later this month. Indeed, the reserves, under their new manager Darren Thomson, actually started last Tuesday evening. And the first team will start next week.

There is no news yet as to any new signings. It has been the policy in the past of managers Craig Hopkins and Glen Kirkwood to invite players to training and for trials before actually offering them the opportunity of signing.

The managers realise that team spirit is all important and building up that side of the team is probably more difficult than setting systems and signing players. After all, a player who scored 30 goals for his club last season may not fit in with his colleagues or the system so he is not going to repeat the act this season.

A number of players were offered terms this time last season but did not actually kick a ball for the club in earnest. The same could happen this time round, with much depending on how many of the current players decide to stay with the club as to how many possible replacements are needed.

There will be plenty of opportunity for both old and new players to get used to the way the managers want to play with a number of pre-season games already pencilled in.

At the time of writing, and subject to permission being given by the Derbyshire County FA, the following games have been arranged:-

l Wednesday July 13 – Derby County XI at Moor Farm, kick off 7pm

l Saturday July 16– Parkhouse (away) kick off 3pm

l Tuesday July 19 – Gresley FC (away) kick off 7.30pm

l Tuesday July 26 – Arnold Town (away) kick off 7.45pm

l Saturday July 30 – Stapenhill (away) kick off 3pm

l Wednesday August 3 – Carlton Town (away) kick off 7.30pm.

In addition to these games, the managers are also looking for a game for Saturday, July 23, but due to cricket, of course, this game will have to take place away from home, if one is arranged.

It does rather look as though the East Midlands Counties League will be ‘as you were’ for next season with the exception of Gresley FC, who have been promoted to the Midland Alliance. Their place will be taken by Oadby Town, who are relegated from the Midland Alliance.

Central Midlands League champions Sheffield Parramore look likely to be promoted to the Northern Counties East League, leaving no club promoted to the East Midlands Counties.