Curle set to tackle mate Rudy

Keith Curle, right, with Neil Warnock
Keith Curle, right, with Neil Warnock

Notts County boss Keith Curle is returning to the Yorkshire coast this weekend for a friendly reunion with Boro manager Rudy Funk.

The two became friends during the former England defender’s time as Mansfield boss, between 2002 and 2005, Curle meeting Funk at a radio phone-in show in Nottinghamshire, and the two will meet again on Saturday at Queensgate, 2pm ko, when Boro take on League One outfit County.

The ex-Man City and Wimbledon ace said: “Even though I had not met Rudy before this show, we hit it off straight away.

“His enthusiasm for the game is clear for all to see and he is well-known in Nottinghamshire for his positive attitude.”

Curle, 48, who played three games for England in 1992, became County boss in February, just over a month after being sacked - along with ex-Scarborough FC boss Neil Warnock - by QPR.

“I can remember playing a pre-season friendly for Wimbledon many years ago at the old Scarborough stadium, and when I was with Neil Warnock at Sheffield United he used to bring us to Scarborough for training and friendlies .

“I always enjoyed playing at Scarborough and it is a shame what has happened to the old club and the ground.

“I think with the way football is going and the current financial problems it will not be long before clubs in the same town or city have to start looking at sharing multi-purpose stadiums to cut down on costs.”

The County boss has been very busy during the pre-season, having signed up eight new players already, and is set to field most of them on Saturday afternoon.

“I am starting to re-build the team the way I want to. There are some experienced players I have brought in, such as winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce, as well as a few younger ones.

“I still have many of last season’s squad, but I am still after two or three more new signings before the end of the pre-season.”

Curle took over from Martin Allen in February, and guided the Magpies to a final position of seventh, narrowly missing out on a play-off slot, so he will be looking to build on that form when the season kicks off next month.

County drew 1-1 against Buxton on Saturday, and straight after the game with Boro on Saturday they will be flying out to Spain for a summer training camp, before returning in time to take on AEK Athens on Sunday August 5.

“Every game we play we approach in exactly the same way as every pre-season match is a crucial part of our preparation. So we will bring our full squad to Bridlington on Saturday.”

County’s skipper is former Scarborough FC, Whitby Town and York midfielder Neal Bishop, 28, who signed a new two-year contract for the Meadow Lane club at the end of season.