RUGBY TOWN: Pre-season training starts at Butlin Road

Players at Tuesday's first pre-season training session  PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
Players at Tuesday's first pre-season training session PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY

New boss Adams looking forward to challenge ahead

Rugby Town kicked off pre-season training on Tuesday evening, with boss Carl Adams raring to go in his first campaign at the club following his switch across from Southern League Premier Division Stratford back in May.

Rugby Town manager Carl Adams

Rugby Town manager Carl Adams

Adams and his new playing-assistant Justin Marsden put more than twenty players through their paces on the Butlin Road astroturf facility, as Adams looked forward to the challenge ahead in the coming months.

He said: “I know how important it is for a club of this magnitude and with this excellent set-up to get out of this league, and we really want to get the town buzzing again.”

Having been moved over to the UCL Premier Division after just one season in its MFL equivalent, Valley will be mounting a second attempt at returning to Step 4 non-League pyramid football following their 2016/17 relegation from the higher tier.

And Adams has been working hard putting together a competitive squad.

He continued: “We’ve already lost a couple that we hoped would join us, but we always knew this was likely to happen.

“However, we are still in a good position in terms of how many and the quality of those that have agreed to be here.

“We are also close to adding a further three or four players over the coming week or so – including a couple of strikers.”

Two of the originallly announced close-season recruits defender Liam Francis and forward Michael Taylor have both decided to stay at Knights Lane and play again for Adams’s old club Stratford.

But the Town manager was able to confirm the commitment of the experienced Richard Bunting recently, after the midfielder agreed to join from Wisbech Town.

Bunting was part of the Wisbech side promoted from Rugby’s new division at the end of last season, after signing for the Cambridgeshire club from AFC Rushden and Diamonds – where he was club captain.

The 36-year-old has a wealth of non-League experience having previously had spells with Brackley Town, Raunds Town, Cogenhoe United, Long Buckby and King’s Lynn Town.

Town’s first pre-season friendly sees them travel to MFL Division One team Heather St Johns on Saturday (7th July), before another away warm-up game the following weekend at Sutton Coldfield Town.

The first chance to see Adams’s new look outfit at Butlin Road comes when Evesham are the visitors there on the 21st July, before the short trip to Racing Club Warwick.

Two further home fixtures against Alvechurch and Bedworth - who will both play two levels above Valley next season - round off the new campaign preparations on the 26th and 28th of the month respectively.

Adams was happy with the way the first training session had gone.

He said: “I think we have a got a good bunch of lads together here.

“A lot of them have played together before or if not they know each other well.

“A few of the key players were unavailable tonight, but they will be joining us in the next session or two and I can’t wait to get things going properly at the beginning of August.”

Town’s first competitive fixtures were announced last week following the draw for the UCL League Cup, which sees Rugby travel to Harborough Town in the Preliminary Round of the competition.

The winners of that tie will then face a home game against Leicester Nirvana in the First Round.

The two ties are scheduled for the 21st August and the 25th September respectively.