The All Golds begin their 2017 season on Sunday against Hemel Stags in the first round of the League 1 Cup.
Head coach Lee Greenwood will be hoping the hard work during pre-season will pay off come 2pm on Sunday. He said: “Pre-season has gone really well, all the players have worked exceptionally hard. The coaching staff have been impressed by the attitude they’ve shown, we really couldn’t have asked for a better pre-season.
“The weekend we had at the Imjin army barracks was fantastic and then to get the chance to go to Malta for three nights was great. The new players have settled in really well. This year we’ve got a young, hungry squad who are wanting to make an impression in the game. All the players have trained really hard since pre-season training began in November so I’ve got a bit of a selection headache for Sunday, which is always nice to have. It’s our first game of a long season, we’re looking forward to getting out there. I’ve got a team in mind for Sunday but it hasn’t been finalised.”
The All Golds will be without Frankie Foster and Reece Rance who have both picked up long term injuries in pre-season. Half back Kieran Hyde sustained a wrist injury a fortnight ago but is expected to be passed fit for Sunday.
After an abysmal 2016 season Hemel made the decision to relocate their training base 165 miles north in Dewsbury. The Stags will continue to play their home games in Hemel Hempstead but say training in the north will give them access to a a bigger pool of players. Greenwood says he’s expecting a much tougher game than when the last time the teams met, when the All Golds ran out 74-18 winners. “It’ll be a totally different Hemel side to the one we beat three times last season. I know a few of their players and I’ll watch the videos of their friendlies. They’ll be a different animal to in previous seasons that’s for sure. We’ll go there in confident mood though, we made the semi-finals of this competition last year so we want to go one better this time round.”
Sun 19 February – Kick-off 2pm
Pennine Way Sports Ground
If you can’t make it to the game then follow the action on Twitter – @allgolds