Whisper it quietly...a foreign invasion of trialists have landed in Farnborough – and already they've got Spencer Day relishing the battle ahead.
As I write this, no fewer than TEN club applications for International Clearance were being sifted through at FA HQ as the Boro boss gets ready to unleash an exciting cluster of European and South American professionals on unsuspecting defences this pre-season.
Day has run the rule over the ten after two gruelling training sessions this week and is expected to throw at least six of them the yellow and blue shirt for the first friendly of the summer this Saturday when his side make the short trip to Combined Counties neighbours Sandhurst Town.
“It's very early days but some have really impressed this week,” Day revealed. “We had a double training session to kick us off on Saturday and a very tough training session on Tuesday night, but even though it’s been 90 per cent running so far you can see that some are very interesting.”
The overseas contingent are set to form part of a 22-24 man squad to take on Chris Powell’s new-look Fizzers at Bottom Meadow on Saturday with a number of other trialists and youth team players also looking to make their mark.
Already, Day has had over 40 players compete in some from of training at the club this week with that number whittled down to a squad of 25 pencilled in to take on Banstead Athletic in a behind-closed-doors match at Nescot College, Egham, tonight (Thursday).
“These are good training games for us,” Day added.
“We’ll be playing two different teams for both games and those not playing will be training. It’s very early days but Saturday is a good opportunity for Farnborough fans to take a look at what is a very young group of players, while giving Sandhurst a bit of support at the same time.”
One man who won't be turning out, however, is winger Arron Hopkinson, who, bizarrely, requested to leave Farnborough FC this week – just over a fortnight after signing and an hour of his first training session.
Hopkinson, who became Day’s second summer signing after joining from Bognor Regis Town, asked to be released from his contract after informing the boss of a change in personal circumstances.
Hopkinson is already being linked with a move to Whitehawk, closer to his East Sussex home, but Day has dismissed any suggestions of cynicism in the young winger’s decision and insists it’s part and parcel of pre-season at this level.
“He pulled up at the first training session injured and then informed me that his college degree had forced a change of circumstance,” the boss explained.
“It happens all the time at this time of year. If he doesn’t want to play for Farnborough, that’s fine, I’ll spend what little money we do have on someone who does.
“If he’d have been here for six weeks and we’d worked pre-season around him then it would’ve been different. As it is, it’s not a big issue and we wish Arron the best of luck.”