Seagulls united for league opener

Tim ChannonFirst Team

Rob Hopley needs two more goals to reach 100 for the Seagulls.

Rob Hopley needs two more goals to reach 100 for the Seagulls.

THE Seagulls go into their opening Evostik League fixture at Halesowen on Saturday with the squad more united than ever.
Manager Ash Hoskin reports five or six of his players have now rejected approaches from other clubs in the past fortnight, with Zac Corbett and Mike Lea the latest to attract enquiries.
“In every case, despite being offered a guarateed starting place elsewhere, the players have not even wanted to talk to the club involved.
“Some of them know they may only be on the bench for our opening games, but they all want to stay at the club and fight for a place.
“That is fantastic for me and shows the spirit that has grown in the group in the short time we’ve been together.
“The lads were buzzing in training this week and are really looking forward to getting the league campaign started.
“We’ve had a full report on Halesowen and have a good idea of how they’ll play, but I believe if we play to our potential then we can match any team in the league.”
Hoskin has named a 16-man squad for the game with Shaun Dowling missing as he only returns from holiday on the day of the game.
Rob Hopley and Chris Sharp look likely to lead the attack, with Hopley, who scored five times in the last four pre-season friendlies, needing just two goals to reach 100 in competitive games for the Seagulls.
The manager has gambled by not including second choice keeper Gaz Rees, but said: “It is a bit of a gamble, but we have two or three players in the squad who fancy themselves as a number one should anything happen to Chris Sanna.”
Halesowen finished 11th in the Evostik Premier last year, but have strengthened their squad duiring the summer and only this week have brought in central defender Kyle Morrison from Midlands League club Alvechurch.
The Colwyn Bay squad to travel is: Chris Sanna. Wes Baynes, Sam Barnes, Jordan Fagbola, Luke Denson, Robbie Booth, John Dillon, Carl Rodgers, Rob Hopley, Chris Sharp, Cory Williams, Archie Love, Brandon Zibaka, Harry Clayton, Mike Lea and Zac Corbett.