Stringer sets up new role for Hall

Danny Hall clears in the rain (v Hitchin 14-8-10)'MHRA Town
Danny Hall clears in the rain (v Hitchin 14-8-10)'MHRA Town
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It looks like Rugby Town will be staying put within the Southern League structure next season, after the FA Leagues’ Committee announced the provisional 2012-13 line-ups on Friday.

Despite rumours of a switch to the Northern Premier League equivalent, Town will remain in Division One Central of the Evostik sponsored set-up - although this will be finally confirmed next month at the League’s Annual General Meeting.

This time last year, Valley were originally moved up North in the provisional schedule, but transferred back shortly after following a reorganisation due to other clubs failing to satisfy ground requirements.

Rugby will be joined in the Central Division by 17 other teams from last season, with St Neots and Bedworth moving up to Premier level of the league, Marlow relegated a step and Bedfont deciding to withdraw from the division.

Four new teams will take their place, with Berkshire based Thatcham Town and Surrey side Godalming Town transferred across from the same level elsewhere, and another club from Surrey - Guildford City - and Hertfordshire’s Royston Town promoted from the Combined Counties League and the South Midlands League respectively.

The Evostik Southern League Central Division for 2012-13 should be: Ashford, Aylesbury, Barton, Beaconsfield, Biggleswade, Burnham, Chalfont, Chertsey, Daventry, Fleet, Godalming, Guildford, Hayes, Leighton, North Greenford, Northwood, Royston, Rugby, Slough, Thatcham, Uxbridge, Woodford.

Joining manager Dave Stringer and assistant Martin Sockett in Valley’s management team next season will be Rugby stalwart Danny Hall - who will assume the position of player/coach.

Thirty-year-old Hall is currently in his third spell at the club, having originally joined in 2001 following his release from Coventry City.

After a successful first spell at Butlin Road which included a number of player of the year awards from a midfield position, he followed the then boss Tony Dobson to Solihull in 2005, before returning for the 2006/07 season under Billy Jeffrey.

He reappeared at the start of the 2010-11 campaign, featuring as first choice left-back.

After picking up a knee injury in pre-season last time out, he was unable to add in 2011-12 to the nearly 200 appearances and 25 goals achieved so far in a Valley shirt, though he is hopeful of returning to playing action in his new dual role for the forthcoming season.

Stringer moved to bolster his backroom staff, after losing Tony Clarke to Racing Club Warwick as assistant-manager and also seeing young Dan Ferrar leave towards the end of last season to coach at a soccer camp in the United States.

Town have also announced their provisional pre-season fixture schedule, with nine games already pencilled in, as manager Stringer looks to make it third time lucky in the club’s attempt at reclaiming the place they lost in the Southern League Premier Division at the end of 2009-10.

Stringer and his assistant Martin Sockett have put together a testing warm-up campaign, which includes the visits to Butlin Road of three Blue Square Conference North sides - Solihull Moors, Oxford City and Brackley - the last two which were promoted from the Southern League structure at the end of last season.

Valley also host Banbury on the main pitch, with games against Alvis, Nuneaton Griff and S&L Corby planned for the club’s astroturf facility. Trips to Atherstone and Racing Club Warwick complete the schedule.

PRE-SEASON 2012-1 FIXTURE SCHEDULE

Saturday, July 7: Atherstone (Away)

Thursday, July 12: Alvis (Home - Astro)

Tuesday, July 17: Nuneaton Griff (Home - Astro)

Saturday, July 21: Racing Warwick (Away)

Tuesday, July 24: Solihull Moors (Home - Main)

Thursday, July 26: S&L Corby (Home - Astro)

Saturday, July 28: Banbury (Home - Main)

Saturday, August 4: Oxford City (Home - Main)

Tuesday, August 7: Brackley (Home - Main)