Pontefract Collieries boss Craig Rouse looking to bolster squad before big kick-off

Pontefract Collieries are putting the finishing touches to their preparations for the new season in the Northern Premier League’s new East Division.

By Tony Harber
Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 4:13 pm
Pontefract Collieries manager Craig Rouse.
Pontefract Collieries manager Craig Rouse.

With their NPL East campaign not starting until August 14, they are still playing pre-season games and went down 1-0 at Mossley in their latest when a little quality was missing, but the match proved a helpful workout for the players.

Colls had previously impressed in their warm-ups, including beating Glasshoughton Welfare 5-1 in the annual Bill Cook Trophy game with goals from returning players Mikey Dunn (two) and Eli Hey (two) plus Scott Smith. Welfare’s scorer was Jamie Simpson.

Ponte now host Gainsborough Trinity in their final pre-season fixture this Saturday (3pm).

On how things are going manager Craig Rouse said: “It’s been a little bit of a disjointed pre-season, the break for Covid and one or two players picking up niggles and knocks.

“It’s been so long without regular football that we’ve got to expect that as a group.

“It’s sort of disrupted us and that showed in the performance (against Mossley).

“We didn’t get beat through a lack of effort, just the quality that has let us down in the final third.

“We had four or five key players missing and it’s learned us something that we maybe have to go and bolster the ranks a little bit and bring a couple of bodies in. This is going to be the situation for a few more months yet, players in isolation and players picking up little knocks and niggles.

“I think we’re happy with the players we’ve got, but we need to add to that and give them a bit of support.”

On the next pre-season game, Rouse added: “We want a reaction really.

“I said to the players it’s all right if you get beat, you can take it if it’s honest. We haven’t got beaten through any lack of effort, we’ve tried and pressed and done the right things, but you have to learn to react.

“We want to make sure we get a reaction and put a performance on.”