NELSON FC boss Mark Fell is hoping to add two new faces to his burgeoning squad at Victoria Park.
Former Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers academy player Ralph Welch and AFC Fylde goalkeeper Nathan Worrell have been training with the Blues for the past week, and Fell is confident of securing their signatures before today’s scheduled clash against Abbey Hey.
“We’ve had them with us for a week and we should have them signed for the weekend fixture,” said Fell, who recently swooped for Australian midfielder Nicky Orr.
“Ralph is an exciting player who can play on either flank or up top.
“He will give us an injection of pace and more of an attacking emphasis. He’s a good player.
“Nathan’s a very good goalkeeper who will give Jamie Scott competition for the jersey.
“You need two good goalkeepers at any club, he’s got a great pedigree and would be a good signing for us.”
Recent results haven’t exactly inspired Fell, but the former Whinney Hill boss has been buoyed by the character and performance levels shown in defeats to Atherton Collieries and high-flying Darwen.
“We went to Atherton on the back of a good win on Boxing Day, but the pitch was horrible and the referee considered calling it off at one point,” said Fell.
“The lads struggled to adapt to the conditions and couldn’t live with the physical presence of Atherton.
“We were 3-1 down at half-time then we had Ben Turner sent off.
“In the second half we were brilliant but it had become an impossible task.
“We did great against Darwen. We were 1-0 up at half-time, we had competed with them and showed that we were as good as the team at the top of the league.
“The disappointing thing was the two goals that we conceded.
“They were both soft goals but I think we are capable of rectifying those mistakes and working on our organisation. I think a draw would have been a fair reflection on the game.”
With tomorrow’s game at Goredale Avenue already in doubt, Fell has organised a behind closed doors friendly with Paul Moore’s Clitheroe as a precaution.
However, should their First Division clash be given the green light, Fell feels his side have the ability to take something from the game.
“We played Abbey Hey in my second game in charge in the League Cup,” he said. “We lost the tie 2-0 but I felt we deserved something from it.
“We are a very different side to what we were then though.
“I doubt that it will be played though, I really would be amazed if it goes ahead.
“Abbey Hey aren’t unbeatable though. They’re up there but they’ve dropped points lately so it’d be a good time to play them.
“We’ve already arranged to play Clitheroe in a friendly, should our league fixture be postponed.
“It gives us an opportunity to give the lads a run out. They are still sharp and up to speed because we’ve been training hard twice a week.”
A tough, congested schedule now lies ahead for Nelson, with the Blues having 20 league fixtures remaining.
Fixtures secretary John Reid has now addressed those problems by rescheduling outstanding fixtures, leaving Fell with the task of securing a strong finish to the campaign.
“We’ve still got a lot of games to play,” he said.
“We know the schedule now, we know what to expect, so the aim at the minute is to get ourselves as high in the league as possible.
“The league is very tight so there’s still an opportunity for us to get up there.
“We just want to build a good base for next season and get the squad as strong as possible.”