Spalding United have enjoyed a busy summer in the transfer market – but two more players are bidding to catch Pat Rayment’s eye.
Former Tottenham Hotspur and Barnet defender Andy Hodges (28) and teenage ex-Boston United Reserves midfielder Lewis McKue have both been training with the Tulips and could play a part in Saturday’s pre-season opener at UCL Division One side Peterborough Sports (3pm).
Spalding supremo Rayment is hoping to give all of his squad some game time at Peterborough Sports and Leisure Club, ahead of big home dates with Boston United (Tuesday, 7.45pm) and King’s Lynn Town (Saturday week, 3pm).
“I’m excited about this squad,” said Rayment. “From our training sessions you can tell we’ve made a massive, massive step up in terms of quality this year.
“I think that everyone is looking forward to getting started. Pre-season is all about getting games under your belt and we’ve got a pretty intense period of games to start with.
“We’re operating with a relatively small squad, so the two lads on trial do have a chance of getting something if they impress.”
Meanwhile, Rayment is looking forward to locking horns with an old team-mate in the FA Trophy after being drawn away at Soham Town Rangers in the preliminary stage on October 18.
Soham are bossed by Steve Fallon, who has known Rayment for more than 30 years.
The winner of that tie will trouser £2,500 – and book a trip to either Leek Town or Bedworth United in the next round.
Rayment added: “It’ll be funny to be up against Steve. We were team-mates back in our playing days, so it’ll be fun to pit my wits against him as a manager.
“The FA Trophy is a tough one for us as we’re in the bottom tier of teams that enter. If we can get past Soham, we’ll have a very tough game either way.”
Spalding have also learned their FA Cup fate, with either Heanor Town or Long Eaton United due to visit the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field for a preliminary round clash on August 30.
The winners will bank a cool £1,925.