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Football: Moore wants players to prove desire in Laird test.

Byline: Nick Hilton

TRANMERE Rovers embark upon a busy programme of nine preseason friendlies in 22 days when they take on Cammell Lairds this afternoon.

The game at Kirklands, (kick-off 3pm) marks the start of Lairds' centenary celebrations.

It also begins the process by which Tranmere manager Ronnie Moore will formulate the line-up that kicks off the new League One campaign against Leeds United on August 11.

Moore declares that every place in his team is up for grabs and can be earned by how well players perform in the pre-season matches.

"I want to see them show me the desire to play in this team," Moore said.

"As a manager I don't have favourites. It is how they do in pre-season, not how they did last season, that will count when I pick the team for the Leeds game.

"We have to go forward and I will go with the players who do the best job between now and August 11."

Moore plans to give all of his professionals a taste of action in each of the first three pre-season games against Lairds, Heswall next Wednesday (kick-off 7pm) and Marine next Saturday, July 21 (kick-off 3pm).

He explained: "I have 22 professionals and what I will do in the first three games is give them all 45 minutes each. It will be a full turnaround at half-time in each game."

So Rovers supporters who make the short journey down the road from Prenton Park to Rock Ferry today should get a first look at the four new signings: goalkeeper Danny Coyne, defenders Ben Chorley and Antony Kay and midfielder Adnan Ahmed.

Not that supporters should pay to much-needed to the tactical disposition of the line-ups in these early games, Moore says.

He explained: "I will be experimenting, looking at players in different positions and players in different combinations.

"This is the time for me to have a look at a few things.

"We have six defenders now so I have options at the back, options in midfield and up front.

"It is a matter of going through and giving them games in different combinations so Peter Shirtliff (assistant manager) and I will have an idea about what we can look at later in the pre-season programme."

The management team plan to start giving some players 70 to 80 minutes on the field in the second week of friendlies when Rovers travel to Morecambe on Tuesday, July 24 and visit Southport the following evening.

Moore has not ruled out the prospect of adding another new face to his squad in the coming weeks.

The sale of Kevin Ellison to Chester City left a possible vacancy on the left side of midfield but Moore says he won't be rushed into a signing.

He wants to give teenage prospects Steve Davies the chance to build on the promise he showed in the role last season.

Carl Tremarco is another young player who may be considered as a left midfielder in away games.

"I won't dive in to a signing until I really have too," Moore said. "I would like to get our own player in but there may be a possibility of a 12-month loan from somebody."

Lairds have been regular preseason opponents for Tranmere in recent years and invariably provide a robust workout.

The UniBond Division One South team narrowly missed out on promotion last season and are the bookmakers' favourites to climb another rung of the non-league ladder in the forthcoming campaign.

Lairds played their first ever game against Tranmere in September 1907, a local Combination fixture.

Moore said: "For a club of Lairds' size to be going for 100 years is magnificent.

"There is always a bit of meat in the sandwich when we play them because their players don't stand back in awe of Tranmere Rovers. They get stuck in and that's why we get good competitive games with them."

The Lairds line-up is likely to include former Tranmere striker Alex Hay. Admission is pounds 5 for adults and pounds 2 juniors.

Tranmere's pre-season fixture guide: Sat Jul 14 Cammell Lairds (away), Wednesday July 18 Heswall (away), Saturday July 21 Marine (away), Tuesday July 24 Morecambe (away), Wednesday July 25 Southport (away), Saturday July 28 Bolton (home), Monday July 30 Altrincham (away), Friday August 3 Stoke City (home), Saturday August 4 Vauxhall Motors (away).

Tranmere Rovers in the Community will be running 6 soccer schools & 6 Tots courses through the summer holidays, the courses are filled with football fun and take place in a safe & friendly environment.

The soccer schools are for boys & girls age 6-12, 10am-3pm for four days the tots courses are for boys and girls age 4-6, 10am-12noon for four days if you require any further information or would like to book a place on one of the courses ring the community office on 0151 608 2354.

I will be looking at players in different positions

RONNIE MOORE

CAPTION(S):

Tranmere's Steve Davies (left) will be given a chance to shine against Cammell Laird; Ronnie Moore will use the Cammell Laird game as a gauge for Rovers' starting line-up
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 14, 2007
Words:854
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