By Daniel List
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Aldershot vs Darlington - The Recreation Ground - Sat 8 August - 3pm
Colin Todd's new look Darlington outfit travel to Aldershot for the 2009/10 curtain raiser on Saturday. Quakers have endured a horrendous pre-season but once again the time has come for the speculation to stop and the talking to be done on the pitch.
It seems like an age since Pawel Abbott's late winner at Chester wrapped up last season's campaign in the most anti-climatic fashion imaginable. Players have come and gone and whilst we have lost quality, it can't be denied that Colin Todd has worked wonder to get his squad assembled given the pressures and restrictions that have hindered him.
At the Fans Forum on Monday, Todd indicated that he was looking to sign two players before the opener at the Recreation Ground and he has been successful in doing so. David Dowson and Jamie Chandler have signed on loan from Sunderland and both will go into the squad for the game but they are likely to have to settle for a place on the bench.
The main pre-season injury worry for Todd was the fitness of Steve Foster. Foster was recovering from surgery and missed nearly all of pre-season but he played an hour of the 2-1 win at Bradford Park Avenue and he will be fit to lead out the side once again.
One man who missed the trip to Bradford Park Avenue was Jeff Smith. He missed the victory with an illness but all indications suggest the former Carlisle United winger will be fit to make his Darlington bow on Saturday.
Todd in fact has very few injury concerns ahead of the game as only two players are definitely ruled out of the clash. Curtis Main hasn't played at all during pre-season and his groin injury rules him out whilst Josh Gray also misses out with a hamstring injury.
Aldershot don't have too many fitness concerns coming out of pre-season. Dean Howell will miss the game through injury whilst Anthony Charles is a doubt as he has only just returned to training. Gary Waddock will hand a debut to new captain Adam Hinshelwood and vice-captain John Halls.
Likely Darlington Starting XI
Arnison Miller Foster Bower
Convery G.Smith Lumsdon J.Smith
Subs - Liversedge, Plummer, Bennett, Chandler, Groves, Riley, Dowson.
Injured - Main (groin), Gray (hamstring).
Match Odds - Aldershot 11/10, Draw 9/4, Darlington 13/5
WeAreDarlo Prediction - Aldershot 1-1 Darlington
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