JOHN Brough has praised striker Brad Martin for the impact he has already made at Cinderford Town.
The striker netted twice for the Foresters in a 6-0 friendly win over Chepstow Town on Wednesday night at The Causeway.
He has stepped up from last season’s County League champions Longlevens and Brough says he is a natural in front of goal.
“Brad is a goalscorer, it’s as simple as that,” Brough said.
“It was nice for him to get a brace and it’s obvious he thrives on scoring goals.
“He also has a lot to offer outside the box and while there is plenty still to work on, I am confident he will score goals at our level.”
Martin will be looking to add to his pre-season tally against Cheltenham Saracens, who visit the Forest tomorrow afternoon (3pm).
The match was initially at Petersfield Park, but Saracens’ newly laid pitch is not yet ready so it has been switched to The Causeway.
Brough is close to finalising his 18 or 19 man squad for the new Southern League Division One South and West campaign, which kicks off on August 9.
“It was pleasing on Wednesday to have a strong bench, without needing to use any of the youth team lads,” Brough said.
“We have people fighting for places and I think it could be a headache trying to pick the team for the first game of the season.
“I think 18 or 19 in the squad is about right to cover for injuries, suspensions and unavailabilities, but I also have three or four young lads who are capable of stepping up, so I am not far off it now.”
It will be a special occasion for Brough’s assistant Gerry Oldham and coach Mark Lockwood, who both spent many years at Saracens before leaving last season.
John Finnigan’s potential comeback from retirement has been put on hold, but Brough said he would not rule out signing the former Cheltenham Town midfielder on at a later date.
Cinderford have one more friendly after tomorrow, against Cirencester Town at home on Saturday, August 2.