Valley boss Adams runs the rule over trialists in first two friendlies

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Rugby Town kicked off their pre-season friendly schedule with a draw and a defeat after boss Carl Adams took the opportunity to cast his eye over a number of trialists in the away fixtures at United Counties League sides Leicester Nirvana and Racing Club Warwick over the last week.

Both games followed a similar pattern with Valley putting in solid first-half performances to establish a 1-0 advantage at the interval each time, with teams mainly featuring players from last season’s promotion-winning squad.

David Kolodynski opened the scoring at Leicester last Saturday with youth team graduate Ryan Sahota matching the feat at Warwick.

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But, with somewhat experimental line-ups after the break, Town ultimately let both leads slip and a Nirvana equaliser and three second-half strikes from Racing on Tuesday evening made it a winless start for Rugby.

Rugby Town boss Carl Adams. Picture by Martin PulleyRugby Town boss Carl Adams. Picture by Martin Pulley
Rugby Town boss Carl Adams. Picture by Martin Pulley

However Sahota’s contributions in the two friendlies played have certainly been one of the more pleasing aspects on show, with the return of Dan Summerfield on the back of a lengthy absence at the end of the 2022/23 term after a broken foot bone also an encouraging sight.

Town have two further opportunities to grab a first victory in the coming days with a trip to Aylestone Park at the weekend and another away fixture at Daventry Town next Tuesday, before finishing their warm-up series with three home games against Leamington, Hednesford Town and Atherstone.

Adams is hopeful that summer signing defender Kyle Burke will be ready for his first appearance in a Valley shirt on Saturday following a hamstring strain, with Edwin Ahenkorah another possible participant after also missing the first two outings with the same injury.

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Town’s opening competitive match will be in the FA Cup on Saturday, August 5 when Southern League Division One club Malvern come to Butlin Road in the extra preliminary round, with a home tie in the next stage against either Romulus or Newcastle Town up for grabs.

Rugby have also been handed home advantage in the FA Trophy first qualifying round with Grantham Town the visitors on September 9, with a trip to either Sutton Coldfield Town or Boldmere St Michaels the prize for victory.