HARRY WHITE hopes to give Jon McCarthy a ‘selection headache’ after declaring himself fit to face former club Solihull Moors this weekend.
The 22-year-old striker is set to make his competitive debut for Chester on Saturday when McCarthy’s side head to Damson Park for their National League opener, just a dozen weeks after White left Solihull and penned a one-year deal.
White – Solihull’s top-scorer last season – sat out last weekend’s 1-1 pre-season draw with Port Vale in an attempt to shake off the muscle strain and has returned to full training this week in order to face Liam McDonald’s side.
“At the end of the Walsall game I was feeling my hamstring, it felt a bit tight so I came off,” he explained.
“The next day it tightened up more so we had a chat on the Monday morning and we decided I’d be better to rest it for the whole week, so last week was mostly rehab.
“I’ve trained this week and it seems much better, all fine again. So I can have a good week in training hopefully and I’ll be fit for the first game.
“I was gutted to sit out on Saturday as I hate missing games, I felt awful watching on. But now it’s healed and I’ve trained I’m just really happy and I realise it was for the best.
“I’m absolutely buzzing for Saturday. The gaffer has a real headache in who to select up front. If I’m picked then it’s fantastic but whatever happens, if I’m on the bench, I just can’t wait to get going.”
On an immediate return to face Solihull, he continued: “I’ve got no hatred towards Solihull, no bad words at all.
“In football you just move on, it’s a normal match for me. It’ll be nice to see a few familiar faces but there’s a lot of new players and I don’t know too many lads there now.
“Liam has a knack of spotting a player a few leagues below. I’m unsure how they’ll do, they’re being talked about as potentially being relegation candidates but you really don’t know until it all starts.
“There’s always a few teams who surprise and there’s always some bigger clubs who struggle. Pre-season results don’t mean much so once it all starts we’ll see.”
Those same bookmakers who have chalked Solihull up as relegation favourites are also forecasting the demise of the Blues this season, who are as short as 11/8 to be face the drop, but White says he ‘couldn’t disagree more’ with those predictions.
“I honestly couldn’t disagree more with that. We’ve seen it and we’ll use it as motivation,” he said.
“I’ve never been part of a group like this before, I feel brilliant and the lads are firing in training.
“We’ve gelled really well and there’s a great camaraderie. It feels good and I think we’ll have a good season.
“I expect us to finish top-half to be honest, anything less would be a disappointment.
“I believe as a team we can push higher up the league.”
With Ross Hannah still regaining full fitness after suffering with a calf injury and unlikely to be risked from the start at Solihull, McCarthy is set to choose from two of James Akintunde, Nyal Bell and White to lead the line.
White, who has notched three times in pre-season, feels the added competition in the forward ranks can only be a good thing and feels 20-year-old Bell has been the star of pre-season for the Blues.
“It’s healthy competition, if one striker is scoring then the other three want to get on the scoresheet themselves,” he added.
“I obviously started against Walsall but Aki and Nyal have come in on Saturday and done really well.
“Nyal has been on fire over the past two games, scoring two great goals.
“Like I said, the gaffer has a real selection headache and it’s up to us to force our way into the team.”
See full story in the Chester Leader