Gainsborough Trinity blog: Trinity have made good signings and will be more competitive

Friendly between Gainsborough Trinity and Hull City at the Northolme. Gainsborough player Lynton Karkach in action.
Friendly between Gainsborough Trinity and Hull City at the Northolme. Gainsborough player Lynton Karkach in action.

It is a phenomenon which goes back decades but can you really read a lot into the pre season form of a football club.

I suppose it depends whether you are an optimist or a pessimist.

A lot will be made of the Community Shield victory by Arsenal last weekend, yet that in itself is a glorified friendly.

Arsenal will challenge this year but the result against Chelsea does not mean they are world beaters and are guaranteed to win the league.

For example last year they demolished Man City in the same competition and finished third.

So what can we read into the preseason accomplishments of Gainsborough Trinity?

First and foremost, the early stages are purely about getting a run out for a sustained period.

The first few games, the players rarely played more than 45 minutes unless completely necessary. There is no need to place added pressure on muscles and joints this early as it could lead to further damage and strain down the road.

The Scunthorpe game in particular was a great example of this. No one really played more than 45 unless of the odd niggle which cropped up. The only man to play the full game was goalkeeper Jan Budtz. It must be said that the Big Dane has looked back to his former self during the friendlies. He has regained some of the confidence that seemed to drain out of him at certain points over last season. The command of the area has been dominant, especially against a strong Iron side.

In all honesty, the first half against Scunthorpe was impressive. To go toe-to-toe with a League One side, for that long, and to play football in the right way, gives an idea of the potential of the side. It may not be the youngest squad you have ever seen at the Martin and Co Arena but it definitely looks and feels like one of the hungriest.

Clearly the second half did not follow in the same suit. The performance was disjointed by a number of trialists who looked out of their depth and the quality of Scunthorpe, could not turn down such generous offers of hospitality and ran out three nil winners.

The game with Sheffield United under 21’s offered a different perspective. A team which had played several teams in the National League North over the summer, came with an air of unknown.

The results against these sides had been largely drawn, so for the Blues to equal this, it appears they are in the right stage to compete successfully in the division. Another game which was an end to end affair, portrayed that Trinity will create chances this year.

It seems especially so from wide areas. Dangerous balls were whipped into the box throughout the match from wide men Jamie Yates and Liam Davis, as well as from set pieces. Couple this with what seems to be strikers that are willing to risk decapitation for the sound and sight of the ball pummelling the net, it seems only matter of time before a big score will come along.

At the other end, the Trinity back four dealt well with the raw pace of the Blades front two. We have all seen first hand the electric speed of CJ Hamilton and to keep last season’s loanee and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a talent who was in the first team plans of Nigel Clough before his departure, relatively quiet for 90 minutes was a huge boost.

One player in the back four who did so with aplomb, was left back Josh Lacey. The young defender has matured his game over the summer and the battle for a starting spot last season should be singled out for why.

It is a fair assesment that the Blues are in a good place heading into the opening fixture of the season. The one negative has been the injury to new signing Marc Newsham in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup win over Stamford.

This has really been unfortunate. Newsham played well against Scunthorpe and the link up play between himself and fellow new boy Nathan Jarman stood out during the defeat to the Iron. The injury is not as bad as first feared but he will still play catch up to the rest of the squad in terms of match practice.

Despite not scoring, Jarman looks ready to lead the line. A physical presence, with a good touch and the willingness to bother a defender within an inch of his life, he has also been a hit in the dressing room.

One thing to note from the Sheffield United game is that Jarman looks easy to play alongside in attack. The combination play with trailist Nick Bignall was excellent saying they had never played together before. Bignall was mightly impressive himself and if the club can secure his signature on a short term deal, I am confident he will be an instant success too.

In a nutshell then, the summer signings have made a visible difference to the team of last year. I expect the team to be competitive, score goals and entertain and more importantly not get involved in a relegation scrap.

One of the greatest assets that the team may have though, is that they want to play and win for Steve Housham.

This can only breed good results and a top half finish seems almost a certainty. If this can be coupled with boisterous home support, thanks to fantastic season ticket sales, no one will be looking forward to a visit to Fortress Northolme.