Pre-season friendly preview: Dartford vs. Millwall

MILLWALL’S pre-season friendly fixture choices over the last four summers haven’t exactly set pulses racing, but then that’s not the point of them.

Where the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea’s marketing machines send them to places like the US and China, Millwall’s equivalent is Kent.

And perhaps after being inspired by the performances of Ben Thompson or Danny McNamara or Ryan Sandford, a few extra youngsters will be spotted in Lions jerseys around Princes Park in the future.

These games are exercises in shaking off the summer cobwebs and for Neil Harris to start integrating new signings.

At the time of writing, though, there is just one of them – Murray Wallace – further adding to the feeling of an underwhelming return to football action.

On the same weekend last year, Harris played two different teams in either half and expect something similar here.

The real interest will be in whether Harris gives outings to some of the younger players. Sandford is currently next in line after Jordan Archer and Dave Martin for a place between the sticks.

Right-back McNamara made his senior debut as a 16-year-old in a friendly against Dover in 2016 and if he is to make a breakthrough then it could be this season.

Propelled by the goals of former Lions striker Alfie Pavey – who was named National League South and National League player of the year for 2017-18 – Dartford reached the play-off semi-finals but lost to Braintree to remain in the sixth tier.

Pavey has moved on to Havant & Waterlooville a league above and the Darts replaced him with Alex Wall from Hungerford.

The Lions drew 1-1 at Dartford last season, Thompson levelling in the second half after Romaric Logan had scored before the break.

Millwall fans will be hoping to see Byron Webster in action for the first time since September last year after, while Wallace should make his debut after his summer move from Scunthorpe.

James Meredith is unavailable as he is on his summer break following his involvement with Australia in the World Cup.

The Lions will debut their 2018-19 home kit at Princes Park.

A close-up of how Millwall's new home kit this season looks.

Possible Millwall starting line-up:

4-4-2: Martin; McLaughlin, Webster, M Wallace, Ferguson; Jed Wallace, Tunnicliffe, Thompson, O’Brien; Elliott, Gregory.

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly