CONFERENCE Premier Darlington will field a full first team squad when they visit the Turnbull Ground to face Whitby Town on Saturday (30 July), writes Andrew Snaith.
It’s likely to be the biggest test for Tommy Cassidy’s Whitby side who’ve already faced Darlo’s local rivals Hartlepool United, Vase-holders Whitley Bay and are just two weeks away from the big kick-off in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier.
Despite a 2-0 defeat against a young Pools side - skippered by record appearance-maker Richie Humphreys - on Monday, Cassidy remains upbeat.
He told the Whitby Gazette: “It was good and bad. We were playing against a full-time side with plenty of energy and showed a bit of fitness.
“There are good things and bad things we need to get better on, but I’m reasonably happy.
“Certain players aren’t quite up to fitness yet, but once that comes together, we’ll be in a much better position.
“I don’t care about results, I’m just interested in individual players and how they perform.”
Cassidy confirmed Mark Cooper would be bringing Darlington’s full first team.
“It’ll be a difficult game, a hard game for us. But we’ve got to progress and we’ve seen some progression.
“Some players won’t make it, but they’ll get a chance.”
As for newcomers to the side, the former Newcastle star revealed: “There could be a couple in the next week or so that I hope we can get sorted out, but I’ll have to wait and see.”
The Quakers are likely to field attacking midfielder Jon McReady at some stage - the 19-year-old was Cassidy’s first signing and spent two months with the Blues on loan last season.
Darlington defeated a strong Middlesbrough side, including Lita, Emnes, Robson and Kink, 4-2 last weekend, but lost out 2-1 at Evo-Stik One North Sheffield FC in midweek, after making just three changes.
Kick-off at the Turnbull Ground is 3pm with admission remaining just £5 adults, £3 concessions and £1 for under 18s.