The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 7th June 2012
.....third Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South campaign.
The Wrens will host the first ever competitive game of newly-formed AFC Mansfield on Saturday, 14th July.
Speaking about the latest fixture, manager Kevin Gee explained: “Normally pre-season would consist of only seven games, which were confirmed very early as pre-season is about preparation not trialing.
“However, with nineteen players already committed and signed at Rainworth, which is a blend of existing players and five or six new ones, I’m still receiving numerous calls from players of Northern Premier League standard and above who are interested in joining the club.
“Therefore, as we are due back for training on Tuesday, 26th June, which will be invitational only, I have added extra games against Clay Cross Town (formerly Parkhouse) on Tuesday, 10th July and AFC Mansfield on Saturday, 14th to allow me to look at and assess the whole squad of players, that will, of course, have to be reduced from potentially thirty to twenty-two by the time we play Scarborough Athletic on Tuesday, 17th July.
“On the latest friendly I was approached by AFC Mansfield to play their first competitive game over the weekend due to my relationship with two of the directors there. But before I could confirm the fixture I needed to contact Mansfield Town first, which I have done and spoken to their chairman, as we have a very good relationship with them – also they play youth team matches at Rainworth, therefore as a football club we have to remain politically impartial to all parties and concentrate on footballing matters only.
“The First Division South is going to be really hard division this year with all six new teams looking strong as well as many of the existing clubs looking to improve on their league positions last year.
“We know we are a little fish in a big pond compared with some of the other bigger and wealthier clubs in the division, but I believe we will have a good blend of experience and youth in the squad this year, as well as a few ‘rough diamonds’ who may or may not come through the tough pre-season schedule, but we feel that we have strengthened in the areas we needed to, and as always we will go about our business in the normal way and see where the journey takes us this season.”