MARC Goodfellow is set to make his Gresley debut in tomorrow’s season opener at Westfields after signing for the club this week.
The former Burton Albion winger has been training at the Moat Ground throughout the summer, and played in several friendlies.
The club were unsure if they would be able to put together a package to attract the 29-year-old, who has more than 100 Football League games under his belt for the likes of Stoke City, Bristol City, Swansea City and Grimsby Town.
But manager Gary Norton confirmed: “He has signed on.
“It is very pleasing to finally have him on board.
“There is still work that needs doing on his fitness, but I think there is massive quality that he has on the ball.
“Defensively, he sometimes comes up a bit short, but he will definitely be in the 16 for Saturday.”
Hereford-based Westfields, who count former Derby County midfielder Steve Emery among their alumni, represent the longest away trip Gresley will have to make this season, and Norton is glad to get it out of the way.
He said: “It’s pleasing to get the longest trip out of the way first, and hopefully we can get something.
“I don’t know much about them, but if they have kept the squad from last season, they’ll do well.”
This season marks Norton’s first managing in the Midland Alliance, and he said: “I am excited.
“I’m pleased we’re finally getting back to competitive action, although it seems to get earlier every year.” The Gresley boss feels he has picked his starting XI, with the five substitutes the only issue still to be ironed out.
“We think we know what the team will be,” Norton said.” New signing Jermaine Gordon and Richard Hanslow are likely to start up front, with fellow striker Royce Turville one of three players definitely missing.
Turville, along with midfielder Mickey Lyons, is away, while left-back Jordi Gough has only played 15 minutes of preseason, and will not be risked.
Gary Hateley returns from working abroad today, but as Darren Keeling has played almost every summer friendly, the latter will start between the sticks, while Adam Betteridge is a doubt with a knee injury.
Several players lined up at centre-half last season, and six of them — Gareth Langford, Richard Butler, Barry Woolley, Lee Barrow, Jamie Barrett and Jack Coulson — are still with the club.
Norton said: “That’s one of the quandries we’ve been facing.
“Jamie Barrett and Lee Barrow did well at the end of last season, but Barry Woolley was injured then, and he was excellent earlier in the campaign.
“We’ve also got Jack Coulson back, and Gareth Langford has done well when he’s been asked to step in.”
If Barrett does not start in the heart of the back-line, he might slot in at rightback, although Matt Hill has played a number of friendlies in that position.
In the absence of Gough, Richard Butler or Tom Betteridge could start at left-back.
The midfield will see skipper Carl Slater at its centre, with Langford a likely foil in the holding role, flanked by Goodfellow and either Rob Spencer or new boy Ashley Day, who has started more friendlies than anyone except Keeling.
GRESLEY FROM: Keeling, Hill, Butler, Barrow, Woolley, Slater, Goodfellow, Langford, Gordon, Hanslow, Day, Barrett, T Betteridge, A Betteridge, Coulson, Spencer, Duffy.