RUGBY TOWN: Boss Jepson pleased with pre-season preparations

Manager James Jepson
Manager James Jepson

First league game this Saturday

Valley boss James Jepson is pleased with the way the pre-season campaign has gone, with less than a week to go until the kick-off of Town’s NPL South Division season at Gresley on Saturday, August 13.

After three consecutive warm-up game defeats against Coventry City, Shepshed Dynamo and Sutton Coldfield, Rugby were back to winning ways in two games against Kettering, as Jepson reviewed the progress over the past few weeks.

Speaking before their final warm-up game against Grantham on Saturday, which the visitors win 5-2, he said: “It was always going to be a difficult challenge considering it is my first job in management and we are having to create virtually a brand new squad here, but we’re happy with where we are at presently and we think we should be ready come the start of the season for real.

“A few players that we had lined-up turned out not to be what we were looking for, but we’ve also managed to pick-up a few surprises on the way and made a couple of important, experienced signings to boost the young legs that we have.

“The youth team lads that have been training with us have done very well too, which is very encouraging, and working with the likes of Andy Gooding and Richard Lavery should be a great help to their development.”

Valley kept a first pre-season schedule clean sheet on Tuesday, and Jepson highlighted the contribution of central defensive pairing Jason Lee and Jamie Tank.

“Jay and Jamie know each other from previously and they seem to have struck up a decent partnership straight away.

“Jake Woolley has come in up front alongside David (Kolodynski) and done better than we expected considering he missed a large chunk of pre-season, so that’s encouraging too.

“There may be one or two to come in ahead of the Gresley game, but overall, I’m satisfied with the mix we have here at the moment and also the way we are trying to play.”