DANNY Scopes believes the return of long-term absentees Mickey O’Donoghue and Greg Cundle will feel like new signings, but tomorrow’s FA Trophy first round tie at Maidstone United will come too soon for the duo.

O’Donoghue and Cundle made the move to the Aspect Arena during the summer, but the early stages of their Beach Boys careers have been curtailed by injuries.

However, both of the close season arrivals have stepped up their recovery.

“Mickey and Greg are now in full training on the grass,” said Concord boss Scopes.

“They are not fully fit yet but it’s good to have them back ahead of a really busy month for us.

“We targeted both Mickey and Greg in the summer so being without them for basically the whole of the season so far has been disappointing.

“Having them back will be like a couple of new signings walking through the door.

“It will take time to get them up to speed, but it’s positive to have them edging closer to a return.”

Scopes has also got his eye on strengthening his side as Concord are facing seven clashes in all competitions over the course of the next month.

But Scopes has been made to contend with a departure ahead of this weekend’s contest with National League South rivals Maidstone.

“Marcel Barrington has moved on,” confirmed Scopes.

“I couldn’t give him assurances that he would get the game-time he wanted and I wanted to be honest with him.

“Because of that, Marcel has decided to move on so I wish all the best and thank him for his time with us.”

Barrington’s departure comes just a week after Scott High’s loan spell from Huddersfield Town ended prematurely.

High returned to the Championship club, who are managed by ex-Concord boss Danny Cowley, and was among the Terriers’ substitutes for the clashes with Leeds United and Charlton Athletic over the course of the last seven days.

And Scopes is pleased to see High progressing with his parent club.

“I had spoken to Danny Cowley earlier in the week and he told me he might have to recall Scott because of a number of injury problems,” admitted Scopes.

“He was eventually recalled and we had to respect that because it’s part of the process.

“Getting experience in men’s football with us and learning about a new division helped Scott.

“Even though he was only with us for a short amount of time, it has helped them at Huddersfield and seeing him on the bench for them is fantastic.

“We are pleased for Scott and we loved having him with us.

“He deserves all the success he is going to get.”

And Scopes wants to enjoy success in the FA Trophy by overcoming Maidstone at the Gallagher Stadium tomorrow.

“It’s my first season back as manager and it would be great to go as far as we can in the competition,” added Scopes.

“I’m focused on doing everything I can to help the club.”