Sportsdesk Comment with Martin Dowey: Positive vibe from opening friendly battles

Sportsdesk Comment with Martin Dowey
Sportsdesk Comment with Martin Dowey

This is the point of a pre-season when you have to ponder what will come when the new campaign gets underway.

Scarborough Athletic have waded their way through six friendlies so far and they have the three left to play.

Managers have differing views on pre-season. Some love to cram in the games, others just like a handful to get their squads ready for the meaningful action.

Boro’s Rudy Funk delights in a preparatory fixture as you can tell from his side’s hectic schedule.

According to Rudy, the focus has mainly been on work-rate and building relationships, and so far that seems to be working.

Surprisingly, there have been no shouts of: “It’s only pre-season, it means nothing.” That may be because the results have been good though.

That phrase can be true, as one perfect example was during Scarborough FC’s final season in the Conference when they beat Sunderland 4-0 in pre-season.

They then went on to suffer a hammering at Hereford on the opening day and were finally relegated.

That won’t be the case this season, as the longer pre-season has gone on, the happier I have become.”

The latest example has been the outing at Pickering, which could be taken either way by the ardent fan.

The huge positive for me was the attacking play and the intricate football in the second half.

This kind of play may not be ideal when you are being smashed around on a bog of a pitch in darkest Lancashire, but it just demonstrated how sharp the players are.

Will this be enough to keep pace with the endless funds of Darlington and Spennymoor? I’m not too sure.

But, for me, it has given me a sense of excitement going into Boro’s first campaign in the Evo-Stik North.

Solidity at the back is always key and that looks to have been achieved through the additions of Steve Burton at centre-half and Paul Robson at full-back.

Jimmy Beadle looks the most focused I have seen him in a number of years in midfield, and Ryan Williams’ ability to get about the pitch looks to be unbelievable.

There are plenty of choices to be made and players to leave before the big kick-off, but I’m expecting something good rather than the humdrum of a mid-table season.