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TOMMY LAWSON says he has been “encouraged” by Skelmersdale United's pre-season preparations – and believes his side will benefit from a “testing” friendly schedule.
The Evo-Stik League Premier Division newboys have set themselves a challenging pre-season routine, featuring stand-out games against Bolton Wanderers, Manchester United and Stockport County at the West Lancashire College Stadium.
Lawson has been busy trimming and re-shaping his squad, and aims to assess the merits of “one or two” new faces in the coming games.
“We let three go earlier this week,” he revealed.
“At this stage of the season it is about looking at what you've got, seeing what you can use and what you can do without, and making decisions accordingly.
“But I have been very encouraged by the levels we have shown so far in training. The lads are all really sharp and trim and they are all champing at the bit to get started now.
“We won't push them too hard in the friendlies to begin with. We will start with basically two teams, and give players 45-50 minutes at first.
“It is no use asking lads to go all out for 90 minutes because all that does is risk injuries.
“Our pre-season opponents will be big tests, but that is what we want. The likes of Bolton and Manchester United will be sending teams of young professionals – kids, but professionals.
“Their fitness levels will be ahead of ours, of course, but that's the challenge for us.”
Lawson is hopeful of wrapping up the signing of Prescot Cables' Liam Hollett this week, despite interest from Cammell Laird and Nantwich Town.
The defender will be banned for the start of the new league season, but Lawson believes he will add depth to his squad.
“This is the time for him to work on his fitness,” he said.
“He will feature for us in our next game, and hopefully we will get that done.
“Otherwise, I am pretty happy with what I've got. We've got good numbers and good quality.”
Meanwhile Skelmersdale will begin their Evo-Stik League Premier Division campaign with a first-ever trip to Rushall Olympic on August 17.
Tommy Lawson's men will follow that up with successive home games against Nantwich Town (Tuesday, 20) and Ashton United (Saturday, 24) before a derby trip to Marine on Bank Holiday Monday, August 26.
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