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Kelly 'Buzzing' To Get Pre-Season Campaign Underway

9 July 2015

Oldham Athletic face Chester FC on Saturday in the first pre-season friendly this season and it also signals Darren Kelly's first game in charge of the club.

The manager, who was appointed manager in early May, has had to wait over two months for his first game in charge of the club and he is itching to get going.

He said: "The adrenaline is pumping through the veins and I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to seeing the players in action. We have done a bit of shape work today and there has been lot of hard work put in but it's something the players have already bought into and that's key going forward.

"There is a bit of rustiness in there but that is to be expected. This is the first 11 v 11 match but the main thing is geared towards August 8. We need to make sure everything is out of the system and we are ready to go."

Asked whether he has a team picked in his head for Saturday's game, Kelly replied: "I do. I don't want people to read anything into it because I just want to find the balance. 

"We have a lot of players in, that includes trialists, signed players, so it doesn't mean the first 11 [on Saturday] is going to be my first 11 [against Walsall]. The players have come back and they have really put it in in training and what I want on August 8 is a headache to pick the side. 

"The way the players have responded to everything we have set, they have been first class in doing that."

With the friendlies about to start, the manager believes keeping the squad injury-free will breed confidence going forward.

"We have been quite strategic in planning pre-season. It's a gradual build up and we've worked very hard. We've had no injuries in pre-season and hopefully that continues," he said.

"I want a headache picking the side on August 8, I don't want a headache because we have injured players so it's a matter of what we are doing and how we are doing it. We need them to be in full health come the start of the season."

Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD.

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