Martin McIntosh expects to have the luxury of a fully fit squad to pick from ahead of Buxton’s FA Trophy tie with Bradford Park Avenue.
The Bucks have welcomed back Liam Hardy and Glenn Belezika from the treatment room in recent weeks and have been boosted once more with the return of Alistair Taylor from a hamstring injury.
All three could play a part in Saturday’s mouthwatering third round qualifier with a bumper crowd expected at Silverlands for the tie against National League North opposition, who include Craig King.
The winger turned out 92 times for Buxton during an 18-month spell at the club, scoring eight times, before Bradford made an offer for him in February in a deal the club nor player could turn down.
McIntosh said: “It’ll be a good cup tie and one we are looking forward to. It’s not going to be an easy tie. They’ve got good players and a huge budget. We know that because they took Craig from us last season.
“Craig was excellent for us. He’s a good player and a good person and Bradford Park Avenue made him an offer no-one could turn down in his position. Craig enjoyed his time here but he had to go.
“Bradford offered him security, National League North football and he has done well for them.”
Both sides go in to the game in-form and unbeaten in their last four. Jason St Juste grabbed a late equaliser at home to Hednesford Town for a Bradford side which possessed striker Massiah McDonald.
McIntosh signed McDonald for Worksop Town, then of the Evo-Stik League Premier Division, from Carlton in 2011 during his time in charge at Sandy Lane. And the Bucks’ boss will be wary of his attacking threat.
“He was just a young lad at the time,” said McIntosh of the former Notts County youngster. “I was looking for him to break through in to the first team and that’s what he managed to do. He did quite well.
“He was a good young player at the time and has gone on to play higher up the pyramid at Alfreton Town and now finds himself in the National League North with Bradford Park Avenue.
He added: “He’s one of a few we will be keeping an eye on. They have got five or six attacking options and have an abundance of riches. We know it’s going to be difficult but we have good players too.
“We’ll prepare correctly and we will be raring to go come Saturday.”
Heavy snow forced Buxton’s scheduled league match against Barwell last Saturday to be called off on the morning of the game, but the Silverlands pitch remains intact despite persistent rain.
“It’s the location we are,” said McIntosh. “We are always going to have days when they are called off but we get on with it. It was too short notice to do anything else. I think there were two inches of snow on the pitch and around the ground.
“There was no way we could have got the game on. It was a frustrating day. The pitch is okay though. There have been no problems with the rain we’ve had, it was just the snow and we’re looking forward to Saturday’s tie.”