After a busy pre-season schedule, the Mariners return to Sky Bet League Two action tomorrow in our first match of the new Sky Bet League Two season against AFC Wimbledon at Blundell Park (3pm kick-off).
With ten new players recruited, optimism is high ahead of the new campaign and we kick-off with our first fixture of the new season being the same as our last of the previous campaign as the fixture list throws up its first quirk of the season.
When speaking to the press earlier this week, manager Paul Hurst confirmed that he is likely to be without two unnamed players due to injury but did reveal that Toby Mullarkey, a second-half withdrawal against Lincoln City in our pre-season friendly, has been back training with the team after illness.
There could be a clutch of league debuts for the Mariners with the new faces keen to be handed a starting shirt for the first match of the season, including striker Danny Rose, midfielder Kamil Conteh and defender Harvey Rodgers.
After finishing a tough 2022/23 season in 21st place, the Londoners have been busy in the transfer market this summer and have signed thirteen new faces, including Jake Reeves – a midfielder who won promotion from League Two with Stevenage last season.
James Tilley, a former Mariner, has also made the switch to the Cherry Red Records Stadium after leaving Crawley Town while experienced striker Omar Bugiel has also headed to south-west London.
Former Tottenham and Charlton Athletic manager Johnnie Jackson has been in charge of the Dons since May 2022.
The Mariners defeated tomorrow’s visitors 1-0 at Blundell Park on the last day of the 2022/23 season when a deflected Danilo Orsi cross gave us the three points to round off the campaign.
We have only faced AFC Wimbledon on one other occasion – the return fixture last season, when Town fell to a 1-0 defeat at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
Tomorrow’s referee is Matthew Corlett who will be officiating his first Mariners match. The last competitive game he refereed was last season’s National League Play-Off Final between Notts County and Chesterfield Town at Wembley.
He will be assisted by Abbas Khan and Alex Gray.
Tomorrow’s match is available for overseas supporters to watch live on Mariners TV. Match passes cost just £10 and they can be bought HERE.