Selby Town strengthened by signing of former Leeds United goalkeeper Mark Wilberforce

Goalkeeper Mark Wilberforce, who has brought his nous to Selby Town

Marksman Danny Gray

First published in Sport
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NEW-LOOK Selby Town's singular priority has been boosted by a number one addition ahead of the start to the Northern Counties East League first division campaign tomorrow.

Manager Dave Ricardo wants his men to open the term away to promoted hosts AFC Mansfield with supreme confidence in their ability, adding: "If we play like I know we are capable of there won't be anyone to touch us."

And as an extra boon, the Robins have been strengthened by the recruitment from Bridlington Town of former Leeds United and North Ferriby goalkeeper Mark Wilberforce.

Ricardo's unflinching conviction in the Robins has grown in just the xxx months he has been in charge of the Flaxley Road club.

He said his so far brief tenure had been "tough" in trying to assemble a squad capable of challenging at the summit of the table rather than the struggle Selby have been accustomed to over the last few years.

Ricardo also opted for an exacting pre-season programme, which ended in an admirable 3-3 draw against Scarborough Athletic of the Evo-Stik League in midweek.

Shot-stopper Wilberforce made his debut in that clash prompting the Selby boss to declare: "It's great that we have signed a goalkeeper of the calibre of Mark. In his first match he lifted the rest of the defence straight away. He is going to be a massive player for us."

Other players integral to a Robins' revival included the midfield duo of Tom Bennett and Nathan Kamara and striker Danny Gray, though the latter had not yet shown his customary predatory potency in pre-season.

"Danny's had a few injury niggles and we've been a bit unlucky in that our other main striker Richard Metcalfe is out for a couple of months with a broken arm after a motor-bike accident," said the Selby boss.

"But I'm sure that once Danny gets a goal he will be firing them in regularly."

Selby's opening opposition AFC Mansfield have entered the NCEL set-up on the upturn of a promotion from the Central Midlands League last season. They are not expected to be short of anticipation for their new surroundings, said Ricardo.

It was though up to his new charges to assert themselves early against the newcomers.

"It's been a tough pre-season in respect of the number of players we have had down here who had not played together," said Ricardo.

"But we've worked on different formations and shapes and the fitness is now there. If we play the way we can do then there;'s no reason why we can't get all three points tomorrow let alone one.

"The players just have to show belief in themselves and have confidence."

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