JERSEY BULLS manager Gary Freeman says his side will be itching to rid themselves of any festive ‘rust’ at Springfield when they welcome Croydon Athletic.
The Bulls, who were hit by back-to-back postponements at the start of January, have not played a competitive game since 18 December. Their gritty, short-handed win over Knaphill came before a spate of Covid-related issues affected their scheduled home ties against Frimley Green and Beckenham Town.
The Islanders are unbeaten in 15 league games – a record they will be looking to improve on against one of Combined Counties Premier South’s strugglers – but Freeman is well aware how unwelcome breaks can damage match fitness.
‘It is easy to get rusty between fixtures,’ he said. ‘We have been trying to replicate game settings within training, including an 11 v 11 inter-squad game on Tuesday. The pace was frenetic, and all the lads look sharp, so we will be ready to go.’
Despite the South Londoners languishing in 18th place, Freeman stated his squad – will not take them for granted.
He said: ‘This is a highly competitive league, in which even the sides in the bottom half are not pushovers. We have a group of players who have gone 15 games unbeaten in the league, so places in this team are hard to come by.’
Freeman has an enviable task ahead of the fixture as there are no reported injuries within the squad. Euan Van Der Vliet [suspended] and Jack Griffin [unavailable] were the only two ruled out in the build-up.
‘I can’t remember the last time this was the case, so I have some tough decisions to make in respect to the team against Croydon.’
Robbie Scott, who replaced Van Der Vliet after his dismissal against Knaphill, looks set to make a start between the sticks for the 4pm kick-off.
Full preview in Friday’s JEP