Practice makes perfect as Bucks try out match on 4G surface

Buxton FC joint manager Paul Phillips
Buxton FC joint manager Paul Phillips

Buxton’s players will get a real taste of the season ahead on Saturday when they take on Stockport County on Hyde’s 4G surface.

The Bucks are unable to play any home games until their own new 4G surface is completed at the Silverlands ground but joint manager Paul Phillips said this weekend’s tough fixture would give his players a chance to play a proper competitive game on an identical surface.

“It’s another Conference North side so it will be another good challenge,” he said.

“The really good thing is that, with the game being at Hyde, it’s on a pitch that’s been done by the same company that’s doing our pitch.

“So it will give the lads a bit of an insight how it is going to feel to play on the 4G week in, week out.

“We’ve trained on it week in, week out, but this will give it a bit more of a match feel to it.”

The Bucks were still waiting on a yes or no from an experienced striker as the Advertiser went to press.

The player was hoping to stay full-time and in talks with a Football League club, but if that fell through he was set to sign for Buxton.

Apart from that one, Phillips is happy with how recruitment is going.

“We have one or two more trialists who have come in that we’re looking at - I don’t want to name names in case other clubs get onto them,” he said.

“But we have 80 per cent of the squad in place and the other 20 per cent looking to gain deals.

“After the two midweek games this week we want to let people know where they stand and give them a chance to go and get a club elsewhere during pre-season.

“Then we’ll go into Saturday with a squad of 20 or 22 which we will probably then whittle down with people away and certain other issues. We would expect to sign three or four on Saturday.”

Buxton began their friendlies with a fine 1-1 draw at National League North Curzon side Ashton on Tuesday night.

They played mostly trialists, one of them scoring quickly after Curzon had taken an early lead.

It was a hastily-arranged fixture after the original game at Duckinfield Town was called off at short notice due to an unfit pitch.

“Duckinfield’s pitch had been seeded but it was down to how hot the weather has been,” said Phillips.

“The only disappointment there is it had been known for seven or eight days and realistically they left us in the lurch - it was a bit unprofessional.

“But it just wasn’t fit to play, so we have to thank Curzon for stepping in. I think they’d been let down too with Winsford so it helped them out as well.”

Buxton will cast an eye over more trialists in another friendly at Barnoldswick Town tomorrow night (Thursday).