Bedlington Terriers keeper Shaun McCafferty will be trying to instil a ‘no fear’ message to his fellow players ahead of the big derby clash with Ashington at Woodhorn Lane on Bank Holiday Monday (11am kick-off).
The 23-year-old, a process engineer at Opsol UK in Cramlington, said: “We have a load of new players and whilst the squad are young, they are good.
“We have a fair mix of youth and experience including Joe Kendrick who has joined us from Blyth Spartans alongside our recent additions, Lee Scott and Scott Blandford, who are two good lads who will fit in well – and we are stronger than last season.”
McCafferty was red carded last week against Whitley Bay and admitted that the thought of missing the derby was the first thing which flashed through his mind.
“I love playing in derbies and when I was sent off, it immediately crossed my mind that I may be ruled out – but I’m not as the suspension starts later,” he said.
“Games are never easy at Ashington and the fact that it is a derby adds more incentive to it.
“After our win at Woodhorn Lane last year, a repeat would be brilliant, and we all know how hard we had to work for the three points last time.
“We will go in as underdogs but at the same time we have nothing to lose, and although a lot of our lads haven’t experienced a Wansbeck derby – and it will therefore be a good experience for them – they also need to go into the clash with a no fear attitude.”
Meanwhile McCafferty is delighted with the installation of Ian Skinner into the managerial seat.
“Ian is a good coach who has come in with his own ideas,” added the keeper.
“He is very organised and everything I have seen so far has been positive.”