Match Preview: Shots v Crawley Town

Aldershot Town complete their pre-season schedule this Saturday with a home game against Crawley Town.

The Red Devils finished 20th in League Two last season, having appointed former Chelsea Academy coach Dermot Drummy as manager two games before the end of the campaign.

Drummy has set about a huge overhaul of his squad, with 12 players leaving and, thus far, 16 new signings at the Stadium – including several very familiar faces.

Drummy’s squad this weekend may feature goalkeeper Glenn Morris, midfielder Josh Payne and winger Jordan Roberts, who arrive from Gillingham, Eastleigh and Inverness Caledonian Thistle, respectively.

Goalkeepers Mitchell Beeney (loan from Chelsea) and Yusuf Mersin from Istanbul’s Kasimpasa SK, will provide competition to Morris

Chris Arthur (Woking), Josh Yorwerth (Ipswich Town), Mark Connolly (return to the Club from Kilmarnock), Addison Garnett (QPR) Turkish right-back Alper Tursun (Alanyaspor) and left-back Andre Blackman from Moroccan club MAS Fez have all bolstered Drummy’s defensive options. Former Shots loanee Lewis Young and ex-Woking centre-back Joe McNerney were the only two defenders under contract from last season.

Alongside Payne and Roberts in midfield, Drummy has signed Boreham Wood’s Billy Clifford plus wingers Jason Banton (Notts County), Dutchman Enzio Boldewijn (Almere City) and Aryan Tajbakhsh (Cray Wanderers).

Only two midfielders remain, in Jimmy Smith and Bobson Bawling, whilst two former Shrewsbury Town strikers currently offer their only attacking options, with James Collins signed to partner Matt Harrold.

Harrold has just returned from knee surgery but is looking forward to renewing the partnership which took The Shrews to the 2011 League Two Play-Offs. “We have played together a lot, he’s a good lad and good player,” Harrold told the Crawley Observer. “It’s good to see an established player come through the door, it’s good for everyone. We enjoyed playing together. There are lots of attacking options rather than out-and-out number nines. I am sure there are plenty of combinations to work on.”

Among those leaving, former Shots defender Sonny Bradley has joined Plymouth Argyle and Shamir Fenelon has arrived at the EBB Stadium, whilst Welsh winger Gwion Edwards moved into League One with Peterborough United.

Crawley have won four of their six pre-season friendlies thus far, including a 9-2 victory at East Grinstead Town and 6-0 thrashing of Three Bridges. They then lost 4-0 to Brighton and Hove Albion, beat Worthing 2-1 and, last Saturday, lost 3-2 to Millwall before beating Lewes 3-1 on Tuesday evening.

Banton has notched four goals during these matches, with Bawling, Roberts and Young on three each and Clifford and Collins on two.

Jim Kellermann hopes to return from injury this weekend, with only Charlie Walker – who continues to await full diagnosis of his ankle injury – unable to play against Crawley Town.

Admission is £10 for adults and £5 for concessions, with children under 11 admitted free of charge. Kick-off is 3pm.