1 New signings debuts
New faces at Victory Park today for Wanderers included Will Buckley, Mark Little and Stephen Darby. The three each had relatively good games, Buckley impressed as a wide man whilst Little did well at full back, as did his half time replacement Stephen Darby. From Parkinson’s team selection, it is hard to tell which he will favour of the two new right backs come the start of the season and remains to be seen, however, based on their past relationship and performance today, I think Darby will become our most prominent right back. Buckley has little competition for his position other than Chris Taylor, however, Taylor may leave before the season begins and Morais would always be favoured to occupy the right wing. It is clear that we are still lacking considerable squad depth and I therefore trust that there is more to come before August 6th.
2 Giving youngsters game time
Today’s game offered the academy scholars and recently professionally signed youngsters a chance to impress the gaffer and each of them took it by the throat I am happy to report. One thing I do believe is that their contributions to the team should be sustained. The younger players from today’s squad won us the game and ultimately made the difference, particularly those who came on in the second half. As it stands, the minimal squad depth would suggest that the younger lads will be used more often and I hope that even as we get more players through the door, these promising lads are given every chance to compete for a place in the first team week in week out.
3 Has the curse of the blue away kit gone?
Having reportedly abandoned last season’s away strip following a run of losses when wearing the kit and the adoption of the yellow shirt, this is the kit’s first outing since January. As the kit has been carried over as this season’s third shirt, the club were forced to use the blue shirt for today’s game having not yet released the home and away shirts for the coming season. Some believe that the win in the shirt has now meant it may be used more often and like last season, eventually replaced the coming season’s away kit if we face the same issue as unlikely as it may be.
4 Never underestimate the opposition
As silly as this may seem, it became apparent that the tempo of the game was much slower than usual today, admittedly this tends to be the case in pre-season, however, a clear underestimation was present as a lively Chorley side were two up inside twenty minutes, in any other game, this would be game over. Going into the rest of our pre-season games, we need to make sure we start as we mean to go on and not wait for the opposition to give us a wake up call first.
5 Get behind the lads
It’s important for a newly promoted side that every game is backed by the supporters, regardless of how friendly, regardless of the class gulf, regardless of the time of the season, the fans should always be behind the lads. The annual first game of the season tends to severely lack any atmosphere despite it usually being a local game, this needs to be changed. It was easy to see that Wanderers fans outnumbered Chorley fans this afternoon and yet, there was very little, if any effort made to support the team, even when two down. This may be taken the wrong way and I may be told to shut up due to the carefree attitude shown by many during pre-season, which is fair enough, but going into the games in Scotland, the local fixtures and particularly the Stoke game, we should be right behind the lads as they prepare to face a strong Leeds side whose following will be vocal as ever and needs to be matched by the home crowd on a day which promises to bring in over 20,000 supporters to kick off the season.
Let us know in the comments what else you picked up from today’s game which you think needs to be addressed.