St Albans City hoping to bolster squad with new recruits

Graham Golds and James Gray (right)

Graham Golds and James Gray (right) - Credit: Archant

ST ALBANS City boss James Gray is hoping to add as many as four players to his squad in the next week, but is keeping their identities close to his chest.

City had their last two matches postponed due to the snow and frozen pitches, but did train on Tuesday night for the first time in a week with several new faces present.

“It’s not been easy, we couldn’t find anywhere to train, even some of the 3G pitches were closed,” said Gray, who saw Saturday’s Evo-Stik League game with Gosport Borough and Tuesday’s Herts Senior Cup tie with Hemel Hempstead Town cancelled.

“We did find a 3G to train on Tuesday night, which was the first time we’d trained for a week.

“We had 20 lads there, possibly some new signings, but I can’t say too much about them yet,” he said.

One player that has joined the Saints is defender Joe Bruce, signed initially for a month on loan from Hemel Hempstead Town.

“He’ll do a good job, I know him well and have played with him,” said Gray.

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“I have an understanding with Dean Brennan [manager] at Hemel, it is a chance for us to have a look at Joe and there’s a chance we could extend the loan.”

On Saturday City are scheduled to travel to bottom of the table Kettering Town, who play home games at Corby Town’s Steel Park.

However, the midweek verdict from The Poppies is that the game is unlikely to take place due to snow covering a frozen pitch.

Gray and fellow joint manager Graham Golds will be preparing as though the game will go ahead, but are also making contingency plans.

“I can’t see it defrosting before Saturday, but we’ll plan as if the game is on,” said Gray. “If not we’ll look at organising a friendly on 3G.”

The postponement of league games has had some advantages for St Albans.

“In a way the break has given us extra time to talk to some players about coming in, although with little training we’ve not had the opportunity to get them to the ground,” added Gray.

“You always expect to get some bad weather at some point in the season.”

In terms of league games, the Saints have played 25 so far this season, along with Hemel, the most of any club in the division, so they will be well placed in terms of a fixture backlog compared to some opponents.

“We’re fortunate that we have played more games in the league than a lot of teams, so others will be worse affected than us,” said Gray.

“I’m hopeful of next Tuesday’s Herts Cup game with Hemel being on, we could have as many as four new signings.”