Director of Football, Paul Maitland previews the weekend fixture with Staines and expresses his delight at re-signing Calvin Brooks.
On Calvin Brooks returning
“Firstly it’s great to have Calvin back. We’ve been talking to him for a few weeks now after we were made aware that the Army was not quite panning out. He had to do a certain amount with the Army before he could leave.
“We did a deal with Calvin about 10-12 days ago, we couldn’t actually sign him until he left the army. He’s fit and sharp as you’d expect, he’s going to take a couple of weeks to be fully ready but he’s looking good.
“It’s no secret that we haven’t quite been able to replace him, but there was always potential that he was coming back at some point once he finished his initial training. He had a great season last season and he was an important player for us and as soon as he made us aware of the situation, it was a no brainer and thank you to the board for backing us and making this happen.
“Other clubs were interested in him but we always had something in mind, even when he left us. Looking at the messages and responses online, it’s very obvious how much he means to the fans. Calvin will give us a bit more flexibility and it certainly gives us a boost for us to push on.”
On the opposition – Staines Town
“The fact that they parted company with their last manager makes them a slightly unknown quantity really. It’s not quite so easy when you’re not sure whether it’ll be a new manager or the caretaker manager that took them last week.
“We’ve seen nothing to suggest that there will be a new manager in place but we will have to see and to be honest it doesn’t bother us at all, we need to do our bit and we’ve prepared well. All the games are difficult and this won’t be an exception. There are no formalities and they have picked up some impressive results. It’s down to us as ever.”
On the two week break
“The enforced break has meant that we’ve had plenty of sessions to prepare for tomorrow. Four really good, high intense training sessions. The boys are angry and frustrated about not playing last week.
“As much as it looks nice on paper, we were irritated to not be playing last week. You can train hard and work hard but it doesn’t count if we don’t go out there and get the result.
“The squad is in a good place, we do have a couple of ongoing injuries that we are dealing with but we look strong. On the subject of the squad, I saw that there were a few raised eyebrows about Harry Baker extending his loan stay at Frome, but we have a 24 hour call back.
“He’s doing well and playing regularly for Frome. This is not to say that he won’t play a part for us this season because he will but it’s important for him and our strikers that they play week in, week out.
“The same can be said for Tiago, both are doing well and both have futures at this club. There is no point of having these players sat on the bench or not playing. Harry and Tiago are well aware and are happy with the situation.
“It was unfortunate for us that when we sent Tiago out on loan, Callum Buckley got injured but that’s just one of them things. It’s important that all of the squad maintain good levels throughout and like I said before, we are in good shape.”