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Fresh hope for new look AFC Telford United but Jason Oswell out of opener

AFC Telford United will kick off the National League North season tomorrow without striker Jason Oswell, who is set for another few weeks on the touchline.

Jason Oswell at AFC Telford United preseason training.
Jason Oswell at AFC Telford United preseason training.

Last season’s 15-goal top scorer Oswell, 29, enters his third season as a Bucks man but will remain out of the reckoning for much of August.

Paul Carden’s Telford begin their new season at home to Chorley tomorrow, with fresh optimism in the air as the manager starts a first full season at the helm. Former Newtown, Wrexham and Stockport County hitman Oswell missed much of Telford’s pre-season programme with a calf injury and suffered a setback on his recovery.

Carden, who is set to seal the signing of teenage attacking ace Louis Baker, 18, ahead of kick-off, admitted ahead of last night’s training session there were a couple of fitness issues to address in his ranks.

“We’re OK,” explained the manager when asked of his squad’s status. “We’ve got a couple of little issues we need to see right in the next day or two.

“But we’re OK and the lads have trained really well over the last few weeks. Now’s the time to put all the training into the game where it counts.

“Ossy is going to be out for another few weeks yet.

“The area it is has a slow recovery and he had a grade two, which was always going to take some time.

“He had a little setback on his rehab a few weeks ago, which has obviously delayed it. It’s one of those, part of football.”

Carden is still in the market for another centre-forward to accompany the injured Oswell and summer signing from Maidenhead Nate Blissett.

Visitors Chorley finished sixth in National North last term but were sent packing in a play-off eliminator by eventual winners York – who included Telford’s key summer signing Matty Brown. Long-serving Magpies boss and former Bucks midfielder Jamie Vermiglio has since departed Victory Park, where he was replacement by his assistant Andy Preece.

“Chorley have been at this level, jumped up and came down, for a number of years now,” Carden said.

“They’ve always competed at the top end of the league whenever they’ve been in it.

“They have a lot of know-how and experience which really helps them. Andy Preece taking over from Jamie Vermiglio probably just keeps a lot of what they’ve done over the last few years together.

“Preecey’s been there a long time with Jamie, who really valued his input. Though I’m sure he’ll have his own ways, methods and input even though some players might be the same.”

The Bucks chief added: “It’s the first time we’ve been able to work in a full pre-season with the players.

“That’s what we’ve done, as well as recruitment, put some organisational things in place to take into games.

“That’s what pre-season’s all about, fitness, organisation, having as many players available as you can.”

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