BRENDAN Kelly says that Bromsgrove Sporting’s 5-1 friendly win over Littleton was the “perfect start”, as the Rouslers made a winning start to their pre-season fixtures.
Goals from new boys Joe Hull, Shaquille McDonald and Kyle Perry were added to by strikes from the old guard of Richard Gregory and Charlie Dowd to hand Sporting a comprehensive win on their return to action.
Kelly admits that he was pleasantly surprised by how well his new troops played on their first outing in the side, with Leon Broadhurst and Robbie Thompson-Brown also featuring alongside the goalscoring debutants.
“There were a lot more positives than negatives from the game,” said the Rouslers manager.
“I was surprised by how well the new lads gelled with their new team-mates and settled into the team.
“We blew away a few cobwebs so it was the perfect start.”
He said it was especially pleasing to see a few of the new boys on the scoresheet, particularly in the case of strikers McDonald and Perry.
“For the lads, especially the strikers, it’s important to get off the mark for a new side and get that monkey off your back early on, and they did that,” said Kelly.
“Joe (Hull) scored from a set piece, which we’ve been working on in training – so that was good to see.
“It was a good mix, we used 20 players altogether and we were able to leave four or five at home that were struggling, so it was a very pleasing night.”
For some managers, pre-season can serve as nothing more than a chance to regain match fitness and test out new strategies and different players.
But for Kelly, the finer details gained from each pre-season match will play a significant role in deciding the starting 11 that steps out onto the pitch for Sporting’s season opener against Biggleswade Town.
“I’ve been making notes about everything, everything matters and is considered,” he said.
“Performance and fitness is important, but I’ll be using the details from pre-season to help me and Andy pick the team for our first game.”
One player who did appear during the drubbing of Littleton was a trialist, who Kelly is keen to take a further look at in the coming games.
“He had a very good second half, he’ll be with us now for the rest of pre-season.
“He didn’t look out of place in the side, so I’ll be taking a closer look at him to see how he gets on in the rest of pre-season.
Sporting next come up against Kidderminster Harriers at Aggborough on Saturday (3pm), a match that he believes can be of huge benefit to the Rouslers.
“You always want to play against teams of a higher level, it gives you the opportunity to learn, and I think we’ll learn a lot against Kidderminster,” said Kelly.
“We always want to get better, we’re always learning – and I’m still learning – so it will be good to test ourselves.”