TOM CLARKE is firmly on the comeback trail – and that’s great news for his manager!
The versatile 21-year-old is back in full training after his knee operation, with the FA Cup first-round tie against Dagenham and Redbridge – confirmed for the Galpharm on Friday, November 6 (7.45) – firmly in his sights.
Clarke has been out since August, and his return is ahead of the schedule originally set down by the surgeon.
“Tom’s progress is a reflection of his professionalism and determination,” said manager Clark, who spent his 37th birthday leading a training session which included Clarke before watching yesterday’s 1-0 reserve defeat against Middlesbrough.
“He was in excellent form before his injury – in my view, our most consistent player – and it’s great to see him with a big smile on his face again.
“Tom has done everything asked of him by the medical people and our physio staff down to the finest detail, and seeing him part of the group again is brilliant.
“He’s a popular lad whose presence has been missed, and having him back will be like signing a new player.”
While Town fans are being encouraged to buy tickets for Sunday’s big League I derby at Oldham Athletic (2.00) in advance, because admission on the gate at Boundary Park will be £2 more, prices have been cut for the FA Cup clash with Dagenham, brought forward because of the rugby league international between England and New Zealand at the stadium on the Saturday.
Admission is £15 for adults (16-plus), £10 for seniors (60-plus) and students and £5 for under 16s.
Clark ran the rule over two trialists in yesterday’s reserve clash – Ivorian winger Anthony Moura-Komenan, a free agent after leaving French club AC Ajaccio, and goalkeeper Dale Crossland, from UniBond League club Wakefield FC.