Lancaster City off to a winning start in pre-season

Lancaster City kicked-off pre-season with a 3-2 success away at North West Counties outfit Skelmersdale United at the weekend.

It was an opportunity for boss Mark Fell to run the rule over seven triallists who were out to impress and earn a deal with the club next season.

Max Povey was between the sticks, while new signing Jake Connolly was given a run out with Charlie Bailey skippering the side.

There was also a place for midfielder Ed Elewa-Ikpakwu, who spent part of last season at City before leaving in search of more regular football.

New Lancaster signing Jake Connelly in action against Skelmersdale United (photo: Phil Dawson)

With the NPL Premier Division fixtures due to be released later this month, Fell is keen to see his squad have a testing pre-season in preparation for the opening day of the campaign.

And he has been impressed with the quality of the triallists who have attended training as he looks to formulate a squad of around 20 players.

They will get more chances to impress over pre-season. City have got games lined up against Football league clubs such as Blackburn and Preston, but are also due to face teams such as Widnes and Ramsbottom.

He said: “I think the fixtures will be out in a week and that will give us a month to prepare for the first game.

Match action from Lancaster's game at Skelmersdale (photo: Phil Dawson)

"We do have a really tough pre-season schedule. We played Skem last weekend, we play Blackburn tomorrow and then play Southport on the Tuesday.

"We are playing AFC Fylde behind closed doors on July 16 and then got Preston’s Under-23s.

"We have got some tough games and we need that. If anything we probably went a little bit easy with our pre-season last year and that was probably a by-product of what happened with Covid-19.

"But this year, we have picked some really tough games and the reason we have done that is we really want to test ourselves and see what this squad is capable of.

"We will probably find that some of these clubs will dominate the ball against us, but we will also have games where sides will sit in and let us have the ball."