Scarborough Athletic boss Darren Kelly ready to put 2021/22 plans into action
Scarborough Athletic boss Darren Kelly is just awaiting confirmation of the null and voiding of the 2020/21 season before springing into gear ahead of the next campaign.
It seems inevitable that the current season will be culled, Boro having only played eight league games to date and the prospect of any fans being allowed into grounds before April almost non-existent.
The Boro boss is switching his focus to the 2021/22 season and is just waiting on clarity from the Northern Premier League to swing into action.
“It’s just a case of waiting to hear from the league now as to what is going on, but it’s fair to say we’re all expecting the null and void again,” said Kelly.
“I’ve already started planning for next season to be honest, looking at areas we need to improve and speaking to the players we already have here.
“I think we need three new additions to get to where I want us to be, maybe four, but there are so many unknowns at the moment - it’s very hard to plan.
“I had a couple of targets that I missed out on last season, so I will 100% be revisiting those once we get clarity on what is happening.”
Kelly admits one or two may have to leave the club - as is the case at every club each pre-season, adding: “It’s always the case that a handful leave before each season - that’s football.
“If I’m honest, one or two didn’t impress me in the games we did manage to get in before the league stopped - but like I said there are so many unknowns flying around at the moment.
“I’d prefer to keep the changes to a minimum if possible because a lot of time and effort has gone in to putting together a strong dressing room, it wasn’t just luck, I always look into a player’s character before they come into the club - I don’t want any bad eggs.
“Players come and go, that happens in football, especially at this level, but I don’t think we are far off where we need to be to challenge and hopefully we can get things moving soon once we know where we stand.”
Kelly is excited by the prospect of getting his long-term injured players back in action.
Kieran Weledji suffered an achilles injury just 20 minutes into his debut after joining from Whitby Town, while Isaac Assenso and Luke Porritt have also been out injured for the entire season.
“I’m so excited to get the injured lads back in with us,” added the Boro boss.
“Especially Weledji. He was a big signing for us and a big, big part of my defensive plans for the season ahead, so to lose him was a major blow.
“Poz was on fire pre-season, so it was really disappointing to lose him when we did and I’m sure he will come back with a bang.
“Isaac has been out for a long, long time now, so will need to take things slowly when he does get the green light.”
Kelly has been in constant contact with his players, in particular striker Nathan Cartman, who took to social media to get his mental health battles off his chest.
The Boro manager is keen to encourage anyone struggling to show the same courage Cartman displayed and speak out on the matter - also offering to speak to any Boro players, staff, volunteers or fans who need support at this difficult time.
“It’s an incredibly testing time for everyone at the moment,” added Kelly.
“What Carts has done by sharing his struggles on social media shows great courage and I have to commend him for that.
“I speak with Carts and he knows I am here for him if needed, as all the players do.
“I want everyone with the club from top to bottom, players, staff, volunteers and of course supporters, that my inbox is always open and I’m more than happy to speak with anyone who is struggling.
“It’s a tough time and we need to stick together as a club to come through it.”
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