Cautious start for Brakes

LEAMINGTON boss Paul Holleran is not prepared to gamble with the fitness of any of his key players ahead of the Evo-Stik Southern League opener on August 13.

Brakes begin their pre-season campaign tonight (Friday) with a home clash against Blue Square Premier League side Tamworth (7.45pm).

The first of ten warm-up games, it provides Brakes with an early chance to gauge their progress against a semi-professional side.

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But despite stressing that his side will be looking to get something out of the game, Holleran says there is no need to rush players back before they are ready.

“We’ve got one or two nigggles,” said Holleran.

“Craig Owen is away this weekend, Tom Berwick has a bruised foot, while Scott Lycett has a sore shoulder which is a long-standing condition.

“Ben Mackey is training well, but he’s still a few weeks away. He’ll be involved but it’s not the time of year to be taking risks.”

Former Racing Club Warwick manager Marcus Law took over the reins at the Lambs in May following their flirtation with relegation last season.

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His appointment has coincided with a move to full-time training and Holleran says Brakes will have to be patient if they are to compete with the Staffordshire outfit.

“It will be a good exercise for us,” he said. You know in pre-season that you’ll get different kinds of sides and when you play a full-time side you know they’ll have long periods with the ball.

“But we’re looking forward to getting back on to the pitch.

“It will be a gradual build-up, but having said that, the season is only a month away.

“We’ll try and give the 18 or 19 at least 45 minutes.

“One or two players we have to be careful with, but individually and collectively we want to get something out of it.”

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Holleran has added Craig Owen, Ben Mackey, Tom Berwick and Kyle Cartwright to his squad during the summer, but he has not ruled out any further additions, with former Leamington midfielder Tom Bates and ex-Hinckley United defender James Mace currently training with the squad.

“We’ve got one or two players with us and we’ll see how we get on.

“The squad isn’t finalised, there’s still room for manoeuvre.”

n Leamington FC Ltd is holding its annual meeting on Sunday at the New Windmill (11am start).

Copies of last years minutes, plus accounts for the year ending June 30 2010 will be available for viewing by shareholders prior to the meeting.

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