Barnstaple Town assess local talent in first pre-season friendly

BARNSTAPLE Town’s 2-0 victory over Launceston in their first pre-season friendly was encouraging for local talent.

Four North Devon League players featured in the squad alongside four from last season’s Carlsberg South West Peninsula League Division One East runners-up Appledore.

Barnstaple manager Barry Yeo said: “We have had a lot of players ringing up and sending us e-mails from Minehead, Torquay and further afield, but we want to keep it local.

“There are only 16 spaces on game day and we want to keep everyone from last year’s squad.

“But that doesn’t mean local players can’t come along and show us what they’ve got, because the talent is there.”

Despite the import of new faces, it was a familiar one who did the damage. Partnering Dave Pearse up front, Will Nicholls fired the home side ahead after 26 minutes following good work from Liam Gregory, who shone at left wing-back last term but was deployed in a more attacking right-wing role.

In the second period, Barnstaple rotated their roster before Mark Turner wriggled free on the right and fizzed a ball across the box for Nicholls to stab home.

Kieran Jewell looked strong at the back alongside mainstay Josh Phillips, while Yeo was particularly impressed with Niall Heeney and Kyle Paine.

“It was refreshing to see a new bunch of players in and everyone played really well,” said Yeo.

“I have known of Heeney for a long time and he always played well for Appledore when we watched him last season.

“Kyle came in for a couple games at the end of the season and was brilliant.He proved the same again.”

Barnstaple will display the Toolstation Western League First Division trophy in Green Lanes tomorrow from 10am-3.30pm.

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