Wakes boss Rafa Mazzarella sees the visit of Stamford to the Abbey Lawn today (Saturday) as an opportunity for his young players to catch their eye.
He said: “A lot depends on what side Stamford put out, but it is an opportunity for some of our young players to show what they can do against strong opposition.
“They will want to to make the Stamford visitors sit up and take notice, by giving a good account of themselves.”
Wakes go into the game after mixed fortunes in friendlies a week ago and on Tuesday.
The manager agreed to fill a vacant date in the pre-season calendar by sending a side to Cogenhoe Reserves on Saturday, and probably wished he hadn’t.
Mazzarella had a wedding to go to and several of his players were also unable to make the game.
It meant Wakes took to the field against last season’s runaway UCL reserve champions without a keeper and with only 12 names on the teamsheet. They finished the game with only ten men and slipped to a 4-1 defeat.
The manager said: “ We were offered the game at short notice and on reflection perhaps we shouldn’t have taken it
“We played quite well in the first half and held them for 40 minutes, but we lost our way a bit in the second period and worst of all, lost two players with injuries.”
Mazzarella is now anxiously waiting to hear how long he will be without left back Dan Wilson and midfielder Harley Williams.
Wilson, who has a groin strain, is hoping to be ready for the start of the season proper, but 17-year-old Williams may need to rest his achilles injury a bit longer.
These two will certainly be missing for the visit of Stamford, and so will centre back Mark Walkin, who has a work commitment.
The trio have all impressed in pre-season after being brought to Wakes from Peterborough Northern Star Reserves, where Mazzarella was in charge last season.
Other newcomers impressed in a comfortable 6-0 win over Langtoft on Tuesday night, when the manager was insisting on a more clinical approach.
Jezz Goldson-Williams and Pierre Cardin-Liverpool both scored two and there was one apiece for Tom Cordall and Danny Pick.
Mazzarella said: “On Tuesday night I told the players we had finished the trials and were setting out to win the game - and that’s what we did.We played very well.”
I think we have a blend now of half a dozen or so players who were here last season and are improving, and the new, young players who have come in.
“I’m confident we will give a good account of ourselves this season.”