Fleet boss not taking on any more trialists

News Shopper: Steve Brown Steve Brown

EBBSFLEET United manager Steve Brown revealed fans should not expect to see anymore trialists when they host a Charlton Athletic XI on Sunday.

Last night the Fleet drew 1-1 at Dartford in their first pre-season friendly against higher league opposition and Brown’s side contained Dominic Green and Mat Mitchel-King, both of whom impressed the manager.

The Fleet chief also revealed ex-Chelmsford City winger Anthony Cook, who also started against the Darts, had signed for the club.

“I’m not expecting to get any more trialists in for Sunday but the ones we had tonight will hopefully all appear”, Brown said.

“Mat Mitchel-King came in at centre half today after a monumental effort to get here.

“He arrived at about 7.50pm after a three-hour journey, so I gave him the second half.

“If that’s him playing after a long journey and getting lost, I look forward to seeing him in another game.

“Dominic Green came in tonight short of match practice, without having played a game for three months and having not had a club since the end of the season.

“We gave him 45 minutes.

“If I can get him fit, he’ll cause the opposition some problems.

“Anthony Cook is not a trialist, we’ve signed him and so he’ll be on our books for the next season.”

After a first half which saw Dartford dominate possession without being able to put the ball into the net, the second half was more even with the Fleet taking the lead through Billy Bricknell before Elliot Bradbrook equalised for the hosts late on.

Brown admitted he was happy with the performance, especially coming off the back of a 3-0 loss away to Maidstone on Saturday.

He said: “It was a much better work out today, so thanks to Tony Burman for inviting us to the game.

“We had a bit of a sticky one on Saturday against Maidstone, which wasn’t ideal, and I’m glad we got that out of our system tonight.

“In the first half we were a little off the pace, so I give Dartford a lot of credit for putting our goal under an immense amount of pressure.

“Dartford did exceptionally well last year and Tony’s a good guy, so I hope they do well again this year.

“But there wasn’t a great deal between the two sides in the second half tonight.

“The second half was more indicative of how I want our players to be like - hard working and making it hard for the opposition to get opportunities.”

Brown added: “We’ve had four training sessions now but they’ve all been fitness sessions.

“We’ve not sat down as a squad yet to start work on set pieces or particular team shapes, everything we’ve done like that has been verbal or on a blackboard.

“That will change on Thursday when we’ll start working on team shapes before training at the ground for the first time on Saturday, meaning the players will get used to our surface.”

Recent signing Brandon Hall also played the whole game and Brown was impressed with what he saw from the young stopper.

“Brandon is a competent goalkeeper,” the manager said.

“He’s been at Charlton and played in this division last year for Hayes & Yeading.

“Having seen him in training, he’s a great lad with a great work ethic.

“He understands the situation, though.

“Preston Edwards was player of the year and had a fantastic season in the Conference Premier last year so will start as the number one keeper, but I’m confident Brandon will push him all the way.

“Preston is up for the challenge of fending off a number two, so I wanted to bring in a number two who would push him and Brandon offers me that.”

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