Boro boss all set for big games

Curtis Bernard has left Boro
Curtis Bernard has left Boro

Scarborough Athletic’s pre-season preparatory work gathers more pace over the next few days when they tackle Eastwood and Notts County.

Boss Rudy Funk feels that both Thursday’s trip to Eastwood, 7.45pm, and Saturday’s home clash against County, 2pm, have their merits, though the latter obviously stands out.

Funk will be without a handful of players for both games, with attackers Tony Hackworth and Ryan Blott still away.

New midfielder Tom Claisse is also absent as he is working for the RAF at the Olympic Games.

Despite this, Funk is confident that his squad will have enough in the tank to cause their rivals a problem or two.

Boro proved this on Saturday as they came from behind to see off Whitby Town 4-2, with Tommy Adams bagging two of the goals.

Stand in strikers Bill Law and Chris Hewitt were also on target in the game at the Turnbull Ground.

Funk said: “At this stage you are going to get players away, so you just have to go with what you have.

“We have made 11 quality signings this pre-season though, so when you are missing your key players you are able to just drop replacements in and they will do a job for you.

“If you look at the English national team, when Wayne Rooney isn’t there everyone starts crying and they start to struggle.

“We don’t want to be like that, you have to be able to replace your talismanic players because at times they will be absent or injured.”

One player who won’t be included is striker Curtis Bernard, who has opted to retire from the game.

Curtis burst onto the scene at Boro last season, scoring a total of 17 league goals.

Funk added: “I spoke to Curtis recently and he has decided to retire from the game.

“He enjoyed his career and he loved his time at Scarborough, but he decided that it was time to pack it in.

“He has a busy life with work and he has also started boxing. I would like to thank him for what he did at the club and he has promised to come down to a few matches next season.”

Funk is delighted with the way things are heading as the clock ticks down ahead of the new campaign.

He said: “Things are going well and pre-season games like the ones we have played and the ones we are playing will only take us towards where we want to be.

“The Eastwood game will be very similar to the Whitby game on Saturday.

“They will be a strong, organised team, so it will be another good run-out for us.

“The Notts County match will be out of this world.

“I’m not saying we’ll be able to compete with them, but we will get men behind the ball and make it difficult for them to break us down.

“Whatever happens on the day, it will be a massive confidence booster for our lads.

“To turn out against players like that is just unbelievable.”

Funk is looking to make the visit of league clubs a regular feature in pre-season.

He added: “I am a loyal person, which has helped me because I do have a good list of friends in the game.

“Getting Keith Curle and Notts County up is a massive coup for us, it would be great to continue that kind of thing.”