Team news ahead of pre-season match on Saturday
Darius Charles is set to get his first taste of pre-season match action in tomorrow’s game against Reading (3.00 pm kick-off).
The experienced centre-back missed the games against Dover and Margate with a knee injury, but he is edging back to full fitness after the three-day training camp in South Wales.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “We need to get Darius’ minutes up and we are hopeful that he can play in three out of the four games this week. Hopefully, he will get a smaller amount of minutes tomorrow, followed by a longer spell on Wednesday, and an increase on Saturday. Darius is certainly on the list to get more minutes because if we cannot get him up to speed in this spell it is going to be a tough ask for him on the opening day of the season.”
Neal also confirmed that Will Nightingale and David Fitzpatrick will both come into contention after stepping up their fitness levels for the development team at Raynes Park on Tuesday night.
“We were going to take Will and ‘Fitzy’ with us as they are first-team squad members, but they had to miss Saturday,” said Neal. “We looked at it and thought it would be a good idea to get their minutes up (at Raynes Park) because they are going to play a part in the coming games. We didn’t want them going these games a little short, particularly with it being Reading and Crystal Palace.
“It’s great that they did really well and the feedback I got from Alan Reeves on a difficult surface was that the young lads played well. George Oakley got 30 minutes under his belt and after what he has been through in the last few months that is great news. Hopefully, he will not have any setbacks.”
George Oakley will continue his comeback in tomorrow’s match for the development squad at Tonbridge Angels (3.00 pm kick-off).
An extensive update from Neal Ardley includes an insight into the squad’s training camp at Celtic Manor, team news, and transfer plans for the rest of this summer.