Peterborough United head to Crawley for their first pre-season match.
After their longest break for a couple of seasons, Peterborough United finally have their first pre-season match against League One outfit Crawley Town.
It should be an interesting encounter with both sides containing former players. Posh signed striker Tyrone Barnett from Crawley last season while Crawley could contain up to five ex-Posh players – Paul Jones, Josh Simpson, Sergio Torres, Arron Wickham and Dan Evans. The match will also be the first under the new Posh captaincy of defender Gaby Zakuani.
Darren Ferguson will play each half with a completely different eleven players as he confirmed no one will play more than 45 minutes in this game or the game at St Neots on Tuesday.
One unexpected face in one of the Posh XI`s will be another 16-year-old Academy protégée. Levi Wright is a forward who has a bright future and if he can progress well this season, he should expect a professional contract heading in his direction.
Emile Sinclair, Dave Hibbert, Jaanai Gordon-Hutton and Jonson Clarke-Harris all miss out due to injury or is still recovering from injury but there is a clean bill of health for the rest of the squad. That means new signings Danny Swanson, Michael Bostwick, Nat Knight-Percival and Bobby Olejnik will all make their debuts. Nat Mendez-Laing will also make his debut as an official Peterborough United player having previously played on loan for Posh a couple of seasons ago.
Crawley are expected to start with Paul Jones in goal who was in goal for Posh for the majority of last season. Jones made the switch to Crawley after being impressed with the ambition shown by the League One newcomers: “I was impressed by Crawley`s ambition and it didn`t take me long to decide to join them,” Jones said.
“They`ve had two promotions in two years which is outstanding and I`m impressed that they have Steve Coppell (Director of Football) and Sean O`Driscoll (manager)at the club.”
O`Driscoll is no longer at Crawley as he has taken up the reigns at Championship side Nottingham Forest. Speaking before his departure, he said: “It should certainly be an entertaining game as Peterborough have shown in the Championship that they are not a team that likes to sit back and defend a lead.”
Posh played Crawley in pre-season last year and were lucky to come away with a win. Posh were completely out-performed in the first half before their strength in depth compared to that of Crawley`s swung the match in Posh`s way.
Darren Ferguson is expecting another tough match: “We had a very competitive friendly at Crawley last season and to be fair they battered us in the first-half that night before we came back and won.
“I expect them to provide a tough challenge again on Saturday which is exactly what we want.
“I`m pleased with our friendly fixture list as we have a good mix of games against lower-ranked teams and teams from the Premier League.”
Posh will be wearing the new blue home strip in the game. The new shirt goes on sale in the Posh Club Shop from 9am on Monday [23rd July].
Posh travel to St Neots next Tuesday [24th July] for their second pre-season match before entertaining Premiership side Norwich City, who should have former Posh centre-back Ryan Bennett in their squad, next Saturday [28th July] at London Road.
Aston Villa then visit London Road on Wednesday, 1st August, before playing their final away pre-season match at Stevenage [4th August].
Posh complete their pre-season programme with a match at home against a Manchester United XI on Friday, 10th August.
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Photos courtesy of www.theposhpics.com
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