John McDermott's Harrogate Town next to visit Grimsby Borough
GRIMSBY Borough are preparing for another high-profile pre-season clash at Bradley Community Stadium with Harrogate Town the visitors tonight (7.45pm).
Mariners legend John McDermott makes a return as the Blue Square Bet North side's assistant manager for the friendly encounter.
The 43-year-old made more than 600 Football League appearances for Grimsby Town during his 20-year spell at Blundell Park.
And having already entertained McDermott's former club as part of their preparations for the new season, Borough joint-manager Nigel Fanthorpe can't wait for another big night at Bradley.
MAYFAIR ESTATE AGENTS
IF WE CANNOT FIND YOU A TENANT WITHIN ONE MONTH WE WILL FIND YOU ONE FOR FREE, YES FREE, YOU WILL PAY NO FEES.
Terms: TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY.
Contact: 01472 355 553
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"It's another quality friendly and we go into it with an 18-man squad, which we've had in our last two friendly matches," said Fanthorpe.
"John (McDermott) will be there.
"I spoke to him last season about the prospect of a match and he obliged straight away and said it would be a good pre-season warm-up for them.
"We had a great win and workout against Armthorpe Welfare in our last match and we're looking for more of the same against Harrogate – although it's going to be a tough test.
"All our lads will get more game-time and we're looking to utilise everybody in the remaining friendlies.
"Obviously Harrogate are a few steps higher than Armthorpe – who were a step above us anyway – but since then we've improved our fitness levels.
"And hopefully we can put in the same sort of performance tonight."
With the kick-off of the Northern Counties East League (NCEL) approaching fast, Borough will use tonight's clash and upcoming friendlies against Winterton Rangers and Gainsborough Trinity to hone their preparations.
Fanthorpe added: "We're satisfied with a lot of the fitness work the boys have done and there hasn't been too much work with the ball.
"It's been more about getting them running and up to speed.
"The ball work will come later once we've been through plenty more 'high-class recovery running', which we've been talking to the Mariners about – they do a lot of that and we're benefiting from it as well now.
"That certainly stood out at Armthorpe where the boy were still at full pelt at 90 minutes.
"That's the sort of fitness level we've got to get to.
"Harrogate at home is another great chance for us to build things up ready for the start of the season."
Borough have also been busy off the field as the start of their NCEL campaign looms.
In addition to being presented with a new sponsored training kit by Chris Marshall of DSV Commercials before the friendly against Grimsby Town, the club have also moved to secure the services of Harp Chatha as their new commercial manager.