Tulips hope to add a defender before kick-off

Pat Rayment
Pat Rayment
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Signing another centre-half is the priority for Spalding United manager Pat Rayment before the big kick-off on Saturday.

Paul Walker and Neal Spafford have been paired at the heart of the Tulips’ defence during pre-season games.

But Rayment would prefer to play former Grimsby Town youngster Walker at right-back and move Mitch Griffiths further forward.

Captain Nathan Stainfield is not available until early September but that means he is likely to miss six games and Rayment wants to bolster the backline as soon as possible.

He said: “We are looking to sign a centre-back, midfielder and forward.

“We had our targets but we are going up against dead ends at the moment.

“The defensive position is our biggest concern and that must be our priority.

“Stainfield was injured at the end of last season and he has spent this summer coaching in America.

“He will be back at the end of August but he hasn’t done a pre-season so he will have to play to get fit.

“Hopefully we can bring in another centre-half before Saturday.”

Spalding completed their pre-season programme with a 2-0 defeat at Skegness Town on Saturday.

The Tulips were without Adam Jackson, Michael Frew, Michael Duggan, Sam Murphy and Jordan Nuttell.

The Evo-Stik League First Division South campaign gets under way on Saturday with a trip to Romulus.

Rayment added: “We had good attendance during our pre-season and training has gone well.

“But the games were very patchy and that’s down to the overhaul of the squad.

“Is that a concern? Well, I would have liked everything to have gone better but it doesn’t really make any difference.

“You could win every game in pre-season but it’s all about what happens from Saturday for the next few months.

“We’ll be back in training on Tuesday night and then we’ll head over to the 4G pitch at Yaxley on Thursday as Romulus play on a similar surface at Sutton Coldfield.”