RUGBY TOWN: First friendly this weekend against Atherstone

Mason Rowley playing last season against Wolverhampton Wanderers   PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
Mason Rowley playing last season against Wolverhampton Wanderers PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY

Three more players sign one-year contracts at Butlin Road

Rugby Town’s pre-season fixture schedule commences this Saturday, when Valley host Atherstone on the Butlin Road artificial pitch for a 1 pm kick-off, before Dave Stringer’s men make the short trip to Coventry Copsewood on Tuesday (July 11) evening, writes Jon Venner.

Kyle Rowley playing for Rugby earlier this year against Witton Albion

Kyle Rowley playing for Rugby earlier this year against Witton Albion

Both upcoming warm-up opponents play one division below Town – who will debut in the Midland Football League Premier following their demotion from Step Four of the non-league pyramid at the end of the 2016/17 campaign. The games should provide an early indication of the prospects for the squad that Stringer has been busy assembling throughout the close season.

Three more players signed contracts for club over the last week, with Mason Rowley, Kyle Rowley and Trey Brathwaite all following up on their verbal commitment by penning one-season deals at Rugby.

The trio were all part of last season’s relegation squad, and these signings boost the total of 2017/18 contracted players to eight – on the back of similarly agreed deals for David Kolodynski, Niall Cooper, James Dance, Josh Ruff and Ruben Wiggins-Thomas.

Valley’s warm-up schedule then continues with two further Saturday matches on the Butlin Road astro against Nuneaton Griff and Romulus on July 15 and 22 respectively, with an away game at another MFL Division One side Hinckley sandwiched in between on the 18th.

Trey Brathwaite against Loughborough in April

Trey Brathwaite against Loughborough in April

Town’s first run-out this weekend comes after two weeks of training, with two others from Stringer’s first spell at the club - Craig Kelly and Fazel Koriya – having also participated in the sessions.

Ex-Basford and Belper utility player Josh Thornton was another looking to impress and join up again with his team-mate from previous seasons Wiggins-Thomas for the new season.

# There is no charge for admission to the astroturf home fixtures, with the VS Bar open from 12noon this Saturday.