Castle pleased with pre-season training

ST ALBANS City boss Steve Castle has declared himself pleased with the club s opening pre-season training sessions. There have been a host of new players link up with the club trying to earn a deal alongside familiar faces such as Adam Everitt, Ryan Frate

ST ALBANS City boss Steve Castle has declared himself pleased with the club's opening pre-season training sessions.

There have been a host of new players link up with the club trying to earn a deal alongside familiar faces such as Adam Everitt, Ryan Frater, Simon Martin and Gary Cohen and Castle was full of praise for the attitude the players have shown.

"We had a few new faces and a few familiar faces at training and some of the lads are still away on their summer holidays," Castle told the Herts Advertiser.

"Ryan Frater has come back as fit as a flea and I'm expecting big things from him this year.


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"The attitude has been fabulous and now we'll start to mould them into a team for the pre-season games with Peterborough and Hayes & Yeading."

Castle confirmed that the Hayes & Yeading game will be a behind-closed-doors game as both clubs run the rule over trialists.

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One familiar face at training has been Luke Thurlbourne who has enjoyed two hugely successful loan spells at Clarence Park.

The youngster was released by Southend United at the end of last season and Castle is hopeful of agreeing a deal with the midfielder.

"Luke Thurlbourne has come back and he looks like he's over his broken ankle. He's training with us and we're hopeful we can clinch his signature."

One player who could be on his way out of Clarence Park is captain and last season's Player of the Year Ben Martin, who has been strongly linked with a move to Chelmsford City and Castle says it's a case of not being able to match the Essex side's offer.

"With Ben nothing is confirmed but Chelmsford is the whisper. To be honest we just can't compete with what he is being offered down there and again he will go with our best wishes - except for the two games he plays against us!"

City get back to action next Tuesday when Peterborough United visit Clarence Park.

Newly-promoted Posh are expected to bring their first team to Clarence Park for the friendly including former-Saint Craig Mackail-Smith.

The 25-year-old, who made 15 starts for City scoring two goals, has excelled since moving to London Road, scoring 26 goals last season to help Darren Ferguson's men to promotion and the club is hoping to attract a large crowd for the striker's return.

The man in the middle for Tuesday's game is locally-based Football League referee Mick Russell.

The 41-year-old has spent pre-season working on his fitness with the Saints at their Oaklands training sessions.

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