Non-league: Poole boss Killick can't wait for Christmas cracker at Weymouth

Bournemouth Echo: PROPER MATCH: Poole boss Tom Killick is looking forward to Weymouth away PROPER MATCH: Poole boss Tom Killick is looking forward to Weymouth away

BULLISH boss Tom Killick predicted Poole’s players would be up for the task of dealing with wounded Weymouth – despite Terras biting back in recent weeks.

Dolphins’ Dorset counterparts have picked up four points from two matches ahead of the Boxing Day battle at the Wessex Stadium (3pm) after sacking boss Brendon King 12 days ago.

However, the resurgence of Poole’s rivals – which included Saturday’s 4-1 win over Bedford – came as no surprise to Killick, who insisted Weymouth would represent a stern test of his side’s promotion credentials despite languishing in mid-table.

Assessing Poole’s festive adversaries, Killick told the Daily Echo: “You always felt Weymouth would improve with the calibre of players in their squad.

"It was difficult to comprehend how they were doing so badly and it does not surprise me they have started to pick up a few results.

“They have signed a lad at left-back (Bristol Rovers loanee Jake Green) to improve an area they were weak in and have one of the division’s best strikers in Stewart Yetton. It will be a difficult fixture for us.

“But this game is one of the rewards for gaining promotion last season. For us to play a proper match like this on Boxing Day at a really nice stadium, in front of maybe 1,000 supporters if we’re lucky, is a really enjoyable way to be involved at Christmas.

“It’s much better than being sat at home on the sofa tucking into turkey sandwiches and Walnut Whips.

"At our level, you can all too often turn up in front of 100 or so people and it’s like a library so this is one you have to relish.

“There might be a hostile atmosphere but my players will thrive on that and I have always had a great belief in our mental strength as a group. I have a feeling they will all be looking forward to this one.”

Killick will be without former Terras defender Sam Clarke whose one-match ban is carried over from the postponed fixtures against Totton and Corby Town.

The Tatnam manager added: “It’s unfortunate for Sam. He’s a local lad and whole-hearted player who wanted to line up against his former club. He’s upset over missing out.”

Dolphins will, however, be able to call on the services of flexible full-back Keith Emmerson, while Michael Charles should recover from illness in time. Cherries keeper Benji Buchel is in line for his debut.

Killick also reported that top scorer Richard Gillespie’s long-term injury woes could finally be nearing an end with the former Bashley hotshot given the green light to start running after a bout of plantar fasciitis – an inflammation of the tissue on the sole of the foot.

Dolphins: (from) Buchel, Emmerson, Spetch, Martin, Whisken, Pettefer, Davies, Devlin, Charles, Preston, Cann, Byerley, Elliott, Dibba, Lowes, Davis, Brooks.

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