Press release: Wrens set for 'Stags party'
EVO-STIK NPL Division One South Rainworth MW are looking forward eagerly to Wednesday’s mouth-watering local friendly against Mansfield Town.
The Wrens are hoping for a bumper turnout at Kirklington Road for the 7.30pm kick-off, with Stags boss Paul Cox having promised to take a strong squad to the club which lent its support last season when the future of Field Mill was in the balance.
Rainworth boss Kevin Gee is under no illusions as to the size of the task facing his side, but can’t wait to see them pitted against their Blue Square Bet Premier neighbours.
Said Gee: “The game has become something of an annual event now, which is great for the local community to have a chance to see the best club in the area visit Kirklington Road and, of course, helps us cement our relationship with the club who used our ground for last year’s youth games.
“Last year we were lucky enough to play on a Saturday with over 1,000 people coming through the turnstiles which, of course, helped our club financially, but more importantly both clubs gained from game.
“This year we are playing on a Wednesday, but with Mansfield using a number of pre-season games to get their first team valuable playing minutes we should, hopefully and weather permitting, benefit from another bumper crowd to see a strong Mansfield side, which of course allows the football public a chance to look at how both teams are shaping up with only two weeks to go before the start of a new campaign.”
Admission charges for the match have been set at £5 with £3 concessions and just £1 for U16s.
Looking at the progress of the Wrens’ own pre-season build-up in advance of the game, Gee continued: “I’m pleased at where we are at the minute and how the new group have settled together. We have set targets and objectives in all the games we’ve played so far, and even in the AFC Mansfield game where the football performance could have been better, a few players learnt that the most important part of a footballer is his body, for if that lets you down then mental strength or technical ability count for nothing.
“Therefore while it’s great that everybody is fighting to play, you have to respect little niggles in pre-season, deal with them properly and rest accordingly, which may mean you miss both sessions and games to prevent them becoming long term ones.”
The Wrens go into their Stags friendly on the back of a behind-closed-doors work-out at Ilkeston on Thursday night, consisting of three 30-minute sessions.
Gee added: “I must say a big thank you to Kevin Wilson and Darren Caskey of Ilkeston for the session, which allowed us to work on a few things including set plays in both boxes. We felt this let us down a bit against Boston last week, so it was pleasing that we kept a clean sheet from set plays and scored a great header from one which
gives the squad great boost when they see how their hard work and preparation paid off.
“What ever I throw at this group at the minute they just face it head on and take up the challenge, so hopefully all bodes well for the coming season.
”The squad is settled now, although we are always looking to improve if the right player becomes available within the existing budget, but it’s a nice position to be in when we can pick and choose at this late stage.
”Wednesday is going to be a real test for us, as of course Mansfield will be fit, stronger and technically better than we are, and that’s not being disrespectful to our group, but we will be working on two aspects in training on Monday with a view to bringing those into the Wednesday game.
”I hope those attending will appreciate that this year we look rather more pleasing to the eye going forward, while retaining our ruthlessness out of possession, but we may have to sacrifice a few clean sheets this year to try to win matches.”