Ninth hosts eighth in the clash of two of Toolstation NCEL Division One’s probable contenders at Sandygate this weekend as Hallam welcome Shirebrook Town -and both camps have a healthy dose of respect for the opposition, writes Colin Muncie.
Hallam’s Joint Manager Stephen Whitehead told us “Over the last few seasons Shirebrook has always been a tough game, and I will be expecting the same again this Saturday. We are in good form and our changing room is a fantastic place to be; and with another great addition in Doc (Striker Keiran Watson )we are looking strong. I hope we will get the 3 points come five o’clock on Saturday in what should be another great game”.
Joint Manager Scott Bates agrees that the clash is a huge one for both clubs.”On Saturdays game ,it’s the one that stands out to me and our biggest test so far” Scott told us.”I have huge respect for Shirebrook and their Manager who has done a great job.We had a friendly in midweek to keep us ticking over and we have training on Thursday, so the lads are in a great place at the minute.”
“The pleasing thing for me is how hard they are working, so hopefully Saturday will bring a good crowd and game.”
Assistant Manager Dean Bamforth agrees.”It’s another big test for us sat in Shirebrook; they’re always decent games when we play. No doubt the focus will be on Watto playing against his old Club as well” Dean told us .”We had a terrific high tempo friendly with v Maltby last night which was terrific for us and we came through without injury.”Obviously Bishop starts his ban but other than that we’re good and in solid form”.
The NCEL hierarchy are unlikely to make Dean’s Christmas list following their insistence that Hallam’s game at East Yorkshire Carnegie be replayed .”I thought the decision to make us replay EYC was a shambles and totally disrespected me and the players” Dean raged.”They really have no idea what we do to make games happen and are totally disconnected from reality”.
“We re hoping for another 200-plus crowd at Sandygate again -and we hope everyone enjoys the game”.
In the Shirebrook Technical Area will be Manager Rob Camm , who holds his opposite numbers in high regard.Rob told us “It’s going to be a tough test but one we are looking forward to. We have got pretty much a fully fit squad ready to go; just one or two we need to manage but I’m sure they will be good to go”.
“Hallam have got a good management team in place with Batesy, Whip and Bamf” Rob noted.”They’ve made a couple of cracking signings in the last few weeks which I believe will push them onto that next level”.
“We had two good battles with them last year and I’m sure Saturday will be very much the same”.