Northampton and Stevenage tests chance for City boss to check on progress of players

Ian Allinson is ready and raring to go ahead of St Albans Citys new season. Picture: Bob Walkley

Ian Allinson is ready and raring to go ahead of St Albans Citys new season. Picture: Bob Walkley - Credit: Archant

St Albans City manager Ian Allinson is looking forward to getting the season up and running after

Saints begin their pre-season friendlies on Saturday when Sky Bet League Two side Northampton Town visit Clarence Park in a game which will now kick-off at 12.30pm to avoid a clash with the England v Sweden World Cup quarter-final.

And for Allinson that, plus Tuesday’s home game with Stevenage, will be a perfect opportunity to scope out his new-look squad.

He said: “We’ll probably go with a squad of 17 or 18 especially for the early part of the season when the games come thick and fast. If you don’t have a good squad then it can really set you back.

“We have got a few trialists and we’ll go with 22 for the two games which will give me a chance to have a good luck at the new players as well as those from last year’s squad.”

It has been a slow summer for the Saints with only three new faces being officially signed, Luke Tingey, Dave Diedhiou and Khale Da Costa.

And despite there being more choice, Allinson reiterated that some of the demands from some are well beyond their means.

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“There seems to be a lot more players around than before,” he admitted. “I don’t know if some of the league one or league two clubs are going with smaller squads this year.

“There are certainly more academy players available but some are asking for big money.

“It’s about picking the right ones, picking and choosing who fits for us.”

He revealed Rhys Murrell-Williamson is still close to a move to Barnet and has not been at City since their squad returned to pre-season training.

But he also had praise for new assistant manager Glen Alzapiedi who has been leading those sessions.

The Saints boss said: “He’s done very well and I’ve been really impressed with how he’s gone about it.

“He knows how to handle players and how to talk to them as he’s been around the game for a while.

“What we don’t want to do is burn them out early.

“With this heat it’s important we don’t overuse them. That’s why most players will only get 45 minutes or so in each of the opening two pre-season games.”