BRADFORD Park Avenue‘s new-look team make the long journey to Gloucester City tomorrow to kick off their Vanarama North campaign.
Manager John Deacey has reshaped his squad. Former Bradford City players Joe Colbeck and Scott Kerr have brought experience while Nathan Turner, released by Leeds United, has shown his promise in the friendly games.
Striker Brad Barraclough has been drafted in to boost the goals ratio and take some of the weight off the shoulders of Chib Chilaka, Richard Marshall and Alex Davidson, who will all be expected to chip in with their regular double figure totals as Avenue look to push for the play offs.
Deacey is a master at picking players up from local clubs and advancing their careers, as he did with Grant Black, Ryan Qualter and Steve Mallory. All three of those are very much part of Avenue’s squad for this season after Mallory returned in the close season from a spell at Harrogate Town.
The manager has snapped up Paddy Miller from Farsley, Sam Hewitt from Brighouse Town and Danny Frost, who was playing in the Northern Counties East Division One last term.
The new acquisitions have shown in the warm-up games that Deacey has not lost his keen eye for quality players.
They are certainly not gambles, more a sure bet as is Jack Rea from Guiseley.
They will be joined in the squad by the attack minded Matty James and crowd favourite John Lamb.
The evergreen goalkeeper has again been talked out of retirement. He keeps threatening to hang up his gloves due to back trouble but he comes back for more. Avenue had the edge over Gloucester last term doing the double over the Tigers.
In the corresponding fixture last January, Avenue won 3-2 with goals from Jordan Deacey, Adam Clayton and Davidson.
When the Tigers came to Horsfall Stadium in November, they were mauled 3-1, Davidson was again on target, along with Nathan Hotte and James Knowles.