It’s been a summer of unexpected hope, memorable moments and faith restoring football over in Russia so as the Cobblers prepare to hit the ground running ahead of the new season we can only hope that the good feeling continues into the league campaign. With just under three weeks to go until the big kick off (three weeks!) it’s time to turn our full attention once again to those players who’ll be looking to emulate the excellent progress made by the national team and carry the hopes of the next nine months.
Dean Austin has led the squad to Spain for a pre-season camp this week and his selection of those making the trip is sure to increase the speculation around the final destination of those on the fringes of their Sixfields careers.
The players left behind – Luke Coddington, Joe Iaciofano, Yaser Kasim and Billy Waters – will not only miss out on team bonding and a friendly taking place on Thursday but will also likely be doubting their places in Austin’s plans full stop. You could make a case for Coddington and Iaciofano staying to possibly arrange loan moves but this surely means the end for Kasim who has now failed to persuade three Town managers in the space of a year that he should be given a chance.
Waters is the case that causes the most interest. The former Cheltenham man, sent out on loan to Cambridge United last season, has been involved in all friendlies so far and could be forgiven for being disappointed to be left back in England, particularly after netting a couple in the 4-0 win over St. Albans City. Austin makes the case that he only wanted two players for each position on the trip but the fact that the travelling squad is littered with youth talent leaves you thinking that it won’t be long before Waters makes a permanent departure. In fact, there’s nothing to say that a move hasn’t already been lined up for him in the coming days.
Another not travelling is new striker Junior Morias, signed from The Posh last week. Morias is without a Visa and will stay behind to build up fitness here. Morias is the most eye opening piece of business by the club so far this summer and his promise that he “never gives a defender a minute’s piece” fits right into the ethos being created by the Cobblers boss. Morias was down the pecking order at London Road but it’s still looking like an excellent capture for League Two level.
With the central striking berths now all but sorted barring any departures, business should now turn to bringing in a replacement for Richard O’Donnell in goal and some extra creativity in central and wide midfield. We’ve appeared short in those areas in the pre-season games so far and it’s asking a lot for the likes of Morgan Roberts to come straight into consideration for what’s sure to be a tasty opening month back in League Two with all of the pressure and expectation that will contain.
But two or three more in the door before Lincoln’s visit would mean that Austin has completed his summer homework and we can all settle in for League Two hunting season. If we can kick off as we ended the last then we could yet be in for more stirring footballing moments to continue the national feeling through the dark autumn months.