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colne 1000x500In each of the last two seasons, the Clarets’ under-23 team has kicked off the pre-season with a trip to Holt House to face Colne, and that will be the case again this year with the game the first to be confirmed for Michael Duff’s team.

Two years ago, goals from Tom Anderson and Khius Metz gave us a 2-0 win in our first public friendly and we repeated that scoreline last year when Tunde Bayode and Robbie Leitch were the scorers.

With Michael Jolley, now Grimsby manager, in charge two years ago, we lined up: Connor King, Cameron Dummigan (Arlen Birch 65), Taofiq Olomowewe (Robbie Leitch 75), Tom Anderson, Alex Whitmore, Brad Jackson, Freddy Yao (Mark Howarth 80), Jimmy Dunne, Josh Ginnelly (Tinashe Chakwana 72), Ntumba Massanka (Khius Metz 60), Fraser Murdoch (Dany Agyei 60).

A number of those players are no longer with the club and even from last year’s team, which was Michael Duff’s first game in charge, no fewer than eight have since departed. Our team then was: Conor Mitchell, Luke Hendrie (Scott Wilson 70), Harry Flowers (Oliver Younger ht), Alex Whitmore (Flowers 70), Johan (Trialist), Olatunde Bayode (Robbie Leitch ht), Rahis Nabi (Christian N’Guessan 70), Mark Howarth (Jamie Thomas ht), Dwight McNeil (Ali Koiki ht), Tommy Wood (Bayode 70), Khius Metz (Tinashe Chakwana ht). Sub not used: Aidan Stone.

It will be a different looking line up again this time. The club have confirmed that a number of new players will sign in July and Up the Clarets believe they will include Josh Benson, Anthony Glennon, Mace Goodridge, Rob Harker and Teddy Perkins.

Duff said: “I think we will be stronger next year. The players we have will be a year older and the ones coming in will add to the quality . We will still be a young group, but a year older and a year better. in the last six weeks of the season we saw a real upturn in performances, which led to an upturn in results.

“I’m already looking forward to next season with the group we’ve pretty much got together and one or two more to possibly come in.”

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