After an intense training camp, the Cobblers are back on English soil and now the countdown can well and truly begin for the start of the 2011/12 season. With only a month to go, the excitement has started to kick in and there’s even an impromptu friendly success to enjoy as we start counting down the days. The Cobblers eased through a match with local Croatian side Novigrad and hit them for six in a 6-1 win that was a reward for the hard graft put in over the week long training camp.
A key highlight of the match was Jake Robinson’s hat-trick and whilst it was, as we say every year, “only a friendly”, it doesn’t take away the relief of finally seeing his name on the Town score sheet again. Robinson struggled to get going under Gary Johnson and appeared to lose all sense of confidence in front of goal, failing to score all season in his maiden campaign in a Cobblers shirt. It was to his credit though that he picked himself up and promised to fight for his place in the face of new summer arrivals in attacking positions. This little cameo should do him the world of good.
There are some who think he should be on the way out but to me he’s still got something left to give. The few times I saw him last season he showed promise and you get the feeling that there’s a lot more to come. If we’re to be successful we need utility men like Robinson, who can play anywhere along the attacking line, and I don’t think we should be giving up on him just yet.
Elsewhere, only one trialist who made the trip to Croatia, Michael Hoganson, has been kept on for a longer period under the watchful eye of Aidy Boothroyd and his goal in the friendly win can’t have done his chances any harm at all.
There’s still a centre back to try and hunt down with that position the only one left to properly fill. If that has to be a loan then so be it but I would much prefer to see a season long deal take place than a short term one. An experience head with a knack for leadership are the essentials for anyone wanting to apply.
It’s all shaping up nicely with the first friendly back here set up for this Saturday as we visit Corby Town where there will be a reunion with their new boss, and Cobblers legend, Ian Sampson!