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Returning Rovers Takes On Reserves’ Mantle - 31 May

Former Tuffley Rovers player Dan Gillespie is relishing a return to the club, after being appointed as the new manager of the club’s reserve team, ahead of the 2018/19 playing season.

Despite plenty of positives for the club during 2017/18, when the club’s Hellenic League secured a 10th place finish in the Hellenic League’s Premier Division, at the end of manager Mark Pritchett’s second full season, and a youthful reserve squad finally began to become a source for first team players, the second string squad struggled for consistency and their place in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League, Division One was only secured in the closing weeks of the season.

Former Forest Green Rovers, Cheltenham Town and Gloucester City player Tommy Callinan then decided to step away from his role in the reserve team set-up, having joined at the start of the season, in a triumvirate including Russ Williams and Phil Ryder-Jones, which left the club with a potential vacancy, which former Tytherington Rocks boss, Gillespie, is delighted to fill.

Gillespie was the club’s third team manager prior to leaving for The Rocks at the start of the 2016/17 season, and he was pleased to have the opportunity to return to the club he represented during their County League days. “It's great to be back at the club”, he confirmed. “I had a good opportunity to manage at Hellenic League level when I left Tuffley for Tytherington Rocks, two years ago, and although it wasn't a long tenure I learnt as a manager and gained some valuable experience.”

Gillespie was out of the game for a short period, but had a spell at County League side Gala Wilton before his appointment to the new role.  “Having recently been at Gala Wilton, on a short term basis as a first team coach, it was there where I realised that I needed to pursue my main goal and that's to manage at the highest standard I can. Coming back to Tuffley is now a chance for me to settle down and progress as a manager at a well-run and forward moving club. The aim now is to bridge the gap between the first team and the reserve side and build a side that can challenge for honours”, he concluded.

First team boss Pritchett confirmed he was consulted on the appointment, which he gave his full-backing to, particularly as Gillespie will work with Williams and Ryder-Jones, who had been integral in the development of the squad over the past twelve months. “I see this as a great appointment for our reserve team squad and the club as a whole”, said Pritchett. “Dan brings a lot of enthusiasm and really wants to help push the club forward. Along with Russ and Phil our reserves are in very good hands for the season ahead.”

Pritchett and Gillespie now have their sights set on the start of the new season, with Pritchett confirming pre-season training will start on Tuesday, 26 June. New, existing and returning players are welcome to train, with the session starting at 6:45pm at Glevum Park.


Wasted Trip Just Adding To Hunger - 14 April

Having completed a round-trip of almost 150 miles to face Highmoor Ibis, without kicking a ball - as their Thursday evening fixture was postponed 45 minutes before kick-off - Tuffley Rovers head into their home fixture against title challengers Bracknell Town hungry to continue their recent good form.

After positive results against both Woodley United and Windsor, Rovers were going into Thursday’s game full of energy and enthusiasm, and manager Mark Pritchett is confident that the postponement, as well as the circumstances in which it arose, have only served to make his players more determined to put in a performance. “It was incredibly disappointing to travel all the way to Reading and then see the game called off”, he commented. “However, we now come into the Bracknell game off the back of two wins and the boys are full of confidence.”

Pritchett recognises that his side won’t be expected to cause the Bracknell squad too many problems, but he is backing his team to make life difficult for a side on a run of sixteen consecutive league victories. “The game on Saturday is a bit of a free hit for us, as no-one will be expecting us to get any sort of result; but we’re going into it full of confidence and looking to have an opportunity to influence the title race, as well as making sure we support our own target of a top eight finish”, Pritchett confirmed. “This is going to be a huge test, but one we are very much looking forward to.”

Pritchett is hoping to have an almost full squad to select from, although Alex O’Leary will definitely miss out, due to work commitments.

After a series of postponements, this will be Rovers’ first home game since 6 March, but the club are confident that this game will go ahead if the forecast dry spell comes to fruition.


mark pritchett tuffley manager hellenic leaguePritchett Hoping To Maintain Winning Run - 11 April

Having played just seven times in the first three months of 2018, Mark Pritchett’s Tuffley Rovers are preparing for their fourth game in eleven days, as they are scheduled to travel to face Highmoor Ibis at Scours Lane, Reading on Thursday evening.

Although the month of April started with a defeat at third placed Wantage Town, despite an encouraging performance, Pritchett has seen his side subsequently record two consecutive victories, starting with a visit to the venue of tomorrow night’s game, when they defeated Woodley United 2-0, seven days ago. That was followed by a solid performance, culminating in a 3-1 win, at Windsor on Saturday afternoon, giving the Rovers’ boss plenty of cause for optimism as he his travel to face one of the sides battling for survival near the foot of the Hellenic League table. “I’ve been really pleased with the last two results”, Pritchett explained. “I said to the boys that we needed to be looking for at least seven points from the three games in eight days and to take six from the first two has put us in a great position. We’re going to Highmoor Ibis in a positive mood and will be looking for all three points.”

Although those with half an eye on the league table might have anticipated a Rovers victory when they travelled to face Woodley United seven days ago, the win at Windsor was the result of a performance that combined some excellent counter-attacking play, with a defensive grit and determination that ensured Rovers secured a maximum haul of points. “The squad put in a brilliant shift on Saturday, showing real effort and determination, despite having played less than 48 hours earlier, and it was particularly pleasing to see how solid we were, as Windsor made us working really hard for the points in the second half”, Pritchett added.

Rovers travel to Scours Lane without Brett James and Ashley Bird, but full-back Sam Hill should be available after missing the last two games.


Rovers Looking To Rally & Return To Form - 24 March

After playing just their fourth game in eight weeks, in a 2-1 defeat at Lydney Town on Tuesday evening, Tuffley Rovers will visit Uhlsport Hellenic League strugglers Highmoor Ibis today, as they head into a sequence that will see them playing their final nine league games in thirty-four days.

With the appalling weather that has blighted the second half of the Hellenic League season, Rovers have been inactive for lengthy periods, playing just seven times in 2018 to date, and they looked short of match practice in Tuesday’s defeat, so manager Mark Pritchett will, no doubt, be keen to get straight back into action when his side travel to Scours Lane. This weekend’s hosts, nineteenth placed Highmoor Ibis, have managed to play nine times over the same period and have recorded three league and cup victories, although a fairly miserable season has seen them in real trouble, as they sit seven points clear of safety, with just eight league games remaining.

Pritchett is anticipating a tough game, despite the opposition’s lowly league position, and the two sides played out a game which Rovers narrowly won at Glevum Park in mid-November. “Highmoor are currently fighting for survival and, like Lydney on Tuesday, they will provide a tough test”, he confirmed. “When we played them a couple of months ago, they were in a bit of a mess, having changed manager, but they improved as the game went on and we had to work hard to get the three points on that occasion. I am under no illusion about the challenge we face.”

Despite the defeat in midweek, Pritchett felt that there were plenty of positives as his side returned to action. “Lydney made life difficult for us and they probably deserved the three points”, he added. “However, despite the result, I was pleased with the energy and work-rate, so we need to do the same again on Saturday and we are then capable of coming away with a positive result.”

The one benefit of the weather enforced gap in fixtures has been the opportunity for players to rest niggling injuries and Pritchett is hoping to have an almost full squad to select from this weekend. “Courtney (Hamilton) has one more match to serve of his suspension and Shayne Bradley is not available, but I hope we’ll have pretty much a full squad to select from”, Pritchett commented. “Kieran Alder should be okay to play and Ash Bird is back, so I will have the option to change a few things, if I want to”, he concluded.


Pritchett Eyes Fourth Consecutive Victory - 6 March

One of the sides chasing promotion from the Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division will arrive at Glevum Park this evening, but Rovers’ boss, Mark Pritchett, is eyeing a fourth straight league victory, albeit over a period extending to 53 days, dating back to 13 January.

Wantage Town were due to visit last Tuesday, only for the early throes of the ‘Beast from the East’ to cause a postponement, due to a frozen surface, but the game has been rescheduled quickly due to an increasing programme of fixtures to be scheduled in before the end of the league season in late-April. Rovers, who have only played five times in all competitions, in 2018, come into the game on a good run of form. “We had another good win a couple of weeks ago, against Ascot United, to make it three league wins on the bounce and it was particularly pleasing to see our response after Courtney Hamilton had been harshly sent-off”, the Rovers boss declared. “After a difficult period at the end of 2017, I’ve been delighted with the form we’ve shown.”

The Rovers manager is quick to praise his squad but also points to a change in formation that coincided with the improving performances. “We’ve had good energy in midfield and our defending has been excellent, while the lads at the top end of the field have been taking chances. I’ve changed our shape a little in the last couple of weeks and it seems to have worked for us.”

Despite the form shown by his own side, Pritchett acknowledges that his side will face a real challenge to extend their winning streak, against a side who had won five games consecutively before a defeat at Flackwell Heath last time out. “Wantage Town are a good side, as their league position shows and they’ll still be looking to get a promotion place after relegation last year. We haven’t yet played them this year, so it is hard to know exactly what to expect, but it will be a tough game”, he confirmed. “Our record isn’t too bad against the top teams, over the past couple of years, so I hope we can match past performances and get another great result.”

Rovers will be missing Brett James and Hamilton, with both players suspended, but Ashley Davies, Alex O’Leary and Will Emery will all return to the squad after missing recent games.


Looking To Continue Good Run Against Racecourse Side - 24 February

Despite a start to 2018 punctuated by postponements that have led to long periods of inactivity, Tuffley Rovers head into today’s Uhlsport Hellenic League tie with Ascot United in relatively good form, as they look for a third consecutive win and clean sheet.

Two successive 2-0 league wins against Abingdon United and Oxford City Nomads, were separated by 35 calendar days, but they have given Mark Pritchett’s squad a huge boost and he is looking for his players to add to their recent points total when Ascot arrive at Glevum Park for a 3pm kick-off on Saturday. “We have to take each game one at a time, but we’ve had two good wins, back-to-back, and we need to build on that”, he said. “Although I am expecting a difficult game on Saturday, I have confidence in the squad and if we perform there is no reason we can’t extend our winning run.”

Ascot United were in a lowly 19th place when the two sides last met in mid-November, but have managed a resurgence in form, climbing to 15th and on a run of three consecutive wins in all competitions. In fact, Neil Richards’ side have lost just five of their last thirteen league games since meeting Rovers, having lost fourteen of their opening eighteen league fixtures.

Pritchett was pleased with both his squad’s performance and some individual contributions during last Saturday’s win at Oxford City Nomads, with Ryan Davis, signed on a work experience deal from Cheltenham Town, and Macaulay Herbert returning in defence and giving the Rovers side a more solid look. “Two clean sheets in a row is probably what we needed”, Pritchett added. “Ryan’s debut was a decent one, but the whole team put in a good performance, which I took great pride in.”

There will be one enforced change for Rovers this weekend, with Brett James suspended after accumulating his tenth caution at Nomads, but Pritchett has an otherwise full complement to select from, with young midfielder Cam Williams hoping for a second consecutive start, after being restricted to occasional substitute appearances since his last full appearance on 7 October.

Woodley Challenge Beckons For Rovers - 10 February

Tuffley Rovers will be hoping that pitch conditions will not throw a spanner in the works again, as they prepare to meet Woodley United for the third time this season.

On Wednesday evening, Mark Pritchett’s team suffered the game to be called off shortly after they arrived in Brackley, and although the weekend forecast isn’t looking good – added to Woodley United’s home, Scours Lane, being subject to several postponements of late – he is hoping his side can finally get back to action.

“After the disappointment on Wednesday, we’re desperate to get back into action on Saturday”, the Rovers boss confirmed. “As with 2016/17, the period after Christmas has just been desperately hard to deal with, as we’ve hardly played. Although training sessions have been good, you can only do so much to prepare for games and we just need to get a run of games, to help build confidence as we move into the later part of the season.”

New signings, Ryan Davis and Henry Birkett, are likely to be in contention to make first appearances this season, although Ashley Davies and Shayne Bradley are both ruled out.

Woodley United, in the first season in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division, have become familiar foes in 2017/18, with Rovers recording two victories over Saturday’s opposition in the season to date. The first, a 2-1 FA Cup win at Scours Lane at the start of August, came courtest of goals from Davies and Brett James, whilst a Shayne Bradley goal was enough to separate the sides when they met at Glevum Park on 28 October.

Two narrow victories mean Pritchett anticipates a tough challenge, despite Woodley being mired in a relegation battle, having collected just 19 points from their first 30 games. “We have to avoid any risk of complacency and make sure we put in a performance”, Pritchett confirmed. “Woodley only lost 3-2 against Wantage Town, who up and around the top of the table, when they last played and in both games this season, they could easily have come away with something. We just need to ensure that we don’t get complacent just because they are at the wrong end of the table”, he added.


Wasted Trip Only Adds To Rovers’ Appetite - 8 February

Having travelled 62 miles for their Wednesday night fixture at Brackley Town Saints, only for the game to be called off 45 minutes before the scheduled kick-off time, Tuffley Rovers wait for a return to action goes on, although they won’t have to wait long, with trips to Woodley United and Lydney Town looming in the next seven days.

As if the 134-mile round trip to Brackley, on a Wednesday evening, wasn’t challenging enough, the match official’s decision to call the game off at such a late hour caused considerable frustration for Rovers players, officials and travelling support.

“I arrived at the game about an hour before kick-off, ready to go and set about preparing the team sheet, only to be told, moments before 7pm, that the game was off”, said Secretary Neil Spiller. “I went and looked at the pitch myself and I’m struggling to understand the referee’s decision, as only a very small area of the pitch was even borderline”, he added. “However, I recognise that the match official has to take responsibility for the safety of the players and we somewhat grudgingly accepted his decision. We have to respect his decision, but it was very disappointing.”

Rovers’ manager, Mark Pritchett, had some sympathy for the referee, too, but was also very disappointed with the decision. “Everyone, except for the referee, seemed to be saying it was playable, but he was adamant that he couldn’t risk the safety of the players”, the Rovers boss confirmed. “Given how far we’d travelled, I asked him to reconsider, but whilst he said he understood, he wasn’t prepared to risk it.”

The last minute postponement denied Ryan Davis, signed the previous day on work experience from Cheltenham Town, and Henry Birkett the opportunity to represent Rovers for the first time this season, after they had been drafted into the squad ahead of the tie. Birkett is expected to return to Hardwicke, for their game on Saturday, but Davis should be in a position to make his debut at Woodley, when Pritchett should have a near fully fit squad to select from.


Rovers Add To Their Ranks - 7 February

Tuffley Rovers have moved to bolster their playing options, following a period of inactivity, as they play for the first time in two weeks – and for only the second third time in 2018 – when they make the long midweek journey to Brackley Town Saints tonight.

Rovers’ manager, Mark Pritchett, is desperate to get his team back into action, particularly after a heavy defeat against Cirencester Town Development when they last played, and he is pleased to have been able to bring in some additions, offering him increased options as he looks for his side to reassert themselves in the closing months of the season.

ryan davis hellenic league footballhenry birkett hellenic league footballPritchett takes his squad to face a tough opponent this evening, but will be buoyed by the addition of two new faces to his squad for the trip to Northamptonshire. Cheltenham Town Academy player Ryan Davis (left), a promising 18 year old left-back, has joined Rovers on a work experience deal, whilst Slimbridge and Hardwicke player Henry Birkett (right) – who had a brief spell with Rovers in 2016 – is added to the squad, having signed on a dual registration basis. Pritchett has confirmed both players are likely to be involved in the visit to Brackley, with Macaulay Herbert also returning after recovering from injury.

Although Ashley Davies, who recently returned to the club from Shortwood United, is ruled out, Pritchett hopes to have the majority of his other squad members available for selection and he’s confident that, despite the unintended sabbatical from playing, his squad are fit and raring to go. “It will be nice to actually get a game on”, he said. “The period since Christmas has been a nightmare for us. We have either been without a game or have put in poor performances. Despite that we’ve trained well, with a few great sessions, and I’m confident we’re ready for the challenge Brackley Town Saints will pose.”

Pritchett acknowledged that Wednesday evening’s opponents will provide a stern test, after the two sides played out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Glevum Park earlier in the season, but hopes a positive performance will be the catalyst for a good run of form, as his side return to action with three games in seven days. “We have games coming thick and fast, so if we can start well we should be able to restore a little confidence and belief, which should enable us to push back up the table”, he confirmed.

The visit to Brackley will be followed by further trips; to Woodley United on Saturday and then to Lydney Town on Tuesday, 13 February.


Pritchett Grateful For Cup Action - 23 January

Tuffley Rovers’ manager, Mark Pritchett, will see his team return to action this evening, in the midst of a stop/start period for his side, after fixture changes and postponements – the most recent on Saturday, when a waterlogged pitch led to the cancellation of Wantage Town’s visit – have seen his side play just twice in four weeks; with both those games in the space of five days.

Tonight’s visit to play Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One (West) team Cirencester Town Development, in the Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup - with the game almost certain to survive the weather, as it is due to be played on Town’s 3G pitch – and Pritchett is just pleased to get another game after a second successive mid-season sabbatical.

“The fixture schedule wasn’t kind to us last year, when we went a long period without a game after Christmas, and it seems to be happening again this year, as we’ve hardly played since mid-December and have no game on the next two Saturdays”, lamented Pritchett.

Despite the staccato nature of their recent fixtures, the Rovers manager sees his team go into tonight’s cup tie having won their most recent game and with an eye on going one step further in this year’s competition, having been Runners-up in 2016/17. “This is the last competition we are in, this season, so we’ll be looking to have a good run in it. We got to the final last year and although we didn’t win, it was a good day out for everyone involved with the club.”

Pritchett is looking to add a couple of faces to his squad ahead of this evening’s game, although Danny Wallington, Macaulay Herbert and Alex O’Leary are unlikely to feature due to recent injuries. “Ashley Davies is returning to the squad (from Southern League side Shortwood United) and I’m hoping to see Eric Edge return, too, so that we have some increased competition for the goalkeeping position and a little more experienced cover”, he confirmed, adding that “most other players are now fit and so we have a good group to choose from.”

Rovers had into the game, against a side sitting in ninth place in the division below, who they last faced in the 2014/15, where the teams played out two draws in a league campaign that ultimately saw Warren Evans’ Rovers squad gain promotion. Pritchett hopes that his side can find a win that will allow them to progress and register a second consecutive victory in 2018. “I’m looking for us to build upon the win last time out, against Abingdon United, and hopefully we can be good defensively, too, and record another clean sheet”, he added.


mark pritchett tuffley manager hellenic leaguePritchett Hoping Increased Options Improve Results - 12 January

After a midweek defeat at home to Brimscombe & Thrupp in the Floodlit Cup, when injuries and suspensions deprived manager Mark Pritchett of several players, Tuffley Rovers are hoping that the return of several players will help influence an improvement in their fortunes, after three consecutive defeats.

Macaulay Herbert will definitely miss this Saturday’s game, as he recovers from surgery, whilst Alex O’Leary and Danny Wallington are doubts, the latter after picking up an injury to his shoulder in Tuesday’s game, but Pritchett is hoping that the return of Warren Mann, Courtney Hamilton and Joel White, following suspensions that ruled them out the Floodlit Cup tie, as well as a handful of other players returning to the squad, will help the Glevum Park side get back to collecting Hellenic League, Premier Division points when Abingdon United visit.

Pritchett has been critical of his squad’s capacity to gift opposition teams opportunities and is hoping that the increased competition for places will help trigger an upturn in performances, as they move into a critical period and aim to consolidate their place in the middle of the league table. “I have demanded a reaction from the lads, against Abingdon United on Saturday, as we’ve been starting games in very sloppy fashion and gifting simple goals, through silly mistakes”, the Rovers boss confirmed. “We had to go 2-0 down on Tuesday before we began to show a bit of fight and that just isn’t good enough.”

Pritchett believes the addition of a few returning faces will be the catalyst for change and will be hoping that his squad can avoid further injuries or suspensions, to maintain performances at a more acceptable level. “We have a lot of bodies available now, which should help create plenty of competition for places and help keep people on their toes, if they want to find a place in the starting eleven”, he added.

This weekend’s visitors promise to provide a stern test of Pritchett’s ambitions, with the sides already having played out an uncompromising 1-1 draw earlier in the season – their first league meeting since April 2016 – and with Abingdon United only suffering one league defeat, in eight games, since the start of November.


perpetua press newent printing solutionsFamiliar Foes In Cup Meeting - 8 January

Tuffley Rovers will play only their second game since mid-December, against the same opposition as on their last outing on Boxing Day, when they host fellow Gloucestershire side Brimscombe & Thrupp in the Perpetua Press Hellenic League Floodlit Cup on Tuesday evening.

Gaps in the Glevum Park outfit’s fixture programme, coupled with the postponement of their game at Brackley Town Saints on 30 December, mean that Mark Pritchett’s team have only played once since a heavy defeat against Thatcham Town on 16 December and that was when Sam Prior’s Brimscombe won the 26 December clash by a single goal, courtesy of Sam Blackie’s first-half goal.

With defeats in their last two fixtures of 2017, Pritchett is keen to start 2018 with a good performance and welcomed the opportunity to play against a familiar opponent. “After two successive defeats we want to get back into it, put in a good performance and get a positive result”, he said. “There aren’t many better ways to start out than with a local derby and an opportunity to reverse the outcome from our Boxing Day game.”

Warren Mann missed the December clash at The Meadow and will absent again, as he serves the second match of a suspension, whilst Joel White and Courtney Hamilton will also be out, having each collected their fifth caution of the season in the Boxing Day game. Otherwise, Pritchett hopes to have an almost fully fit squad to choose from, as he looks for progress in another cup competition.


Last Home Game Of The Year - 15 December

Tuffley Rovers will play their final home game of 2017 - and their last game until a Boxing Day clash with Brimscombe & Thrupp - when they host one of the Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division title challengers this Saturday, with Rovers’ boss, Mark Pritchett, hoping to see his squad maintain their recent good form.

Thatcham Town will visit Glevum Park at the weekend and Dan Robinson’s side will arrive sitting second in the league table and on a run of nine consecutive wins, in all competitions. If Rovers’ task against a form team was not enough, they also boast a fairly miserable record in their recent meetings with Saturday’s visitors, with only one point from five meetings since The Rovers returned to the Premier Division in 2015.

However, Rovers come into the game off the back of two consecutive league wins and with their manager in confident mood, eager to see his side test themselves against a form team. “I’m looking forward to a big game on Saturday”, he said. “Thatcham’s visit will give us a chance to see how far we’ve come as a squad, as we’ll be up against one of the favourites for the league title. We’ve had a decent run of our own and are in confident mood, looking for the opportunity to cause a bit of an upset.”

Pritchett’s optimism remains, despite knowing his squad will be shorn of several regular players this weekend, most notably his two first choice keeping options. “Eric Edge, who has been fantastic since coming into the squad, is off to America for a month or so, meaning we’ve lost his services, at least temporarily”, Pritchett commented, whilst also confirming that Dave Evans, his more regular No.1, who returned to action at Burnham last Saturday, will also be unavailable this weekend. "Dave has been out for a while but always knew he was unlikely to be available this week, so it is a bit unfortunate that Eric is no longer with us”, he added. “However, we’ve got plenty of strength in depth and I’ve every confidence that Kane Winman, our Reserves’ keeper, will do a job for us – it is a chance for him to show us that he deserves the opportunity.”

Having lost a plethora of defensive options this season, with Tristan Haswell, Ashley Davies and Ben Tunnicliff moving to Southern League clubs, Pritchett was forced to convert midfielder Joel (Digger) White into a centre-half and he has been effusive in his assessment of the summer signing’s performances. “Digger has been sensational and has proved to be a massive signing for us. He came in as a midfielder and was doing a great job in the centre of the park, but since injuries and suspensions forced us to play him at the back, he has been superb, both in his defensive work, but also playing the ball out from the back.”

White is likely to remain in his new role for the foreseeable future, with Pritchett’s options increasingly limited, and there are a number of players, in addition to Edge and Evans, who won’t be available for the visit of Thatcham Town. “Liam Wright, Danny Wallington and Mark Ford are unlikely to be available, but Will Emery deserves to keep his place in the squad and Brett James will be back, too. Marcus Foxwell and Alex O’Leary, who both missed the trip to Burnham, will return, so we still have plenty of options, which says a lot about our strength in depth”, Pritchett confirmed.


Bouyant Rovers Travel To Burnham Challenge - 8 December

Fresh from their sensational 4-3 win over Royal Wootton Bassett Town, Tuffley Rovers make the journey to face Uhlsport Hellenic League strugglers, Burnham tomorrow.

Wednesday night’s win, which followed two successive defeats, came in dramatic circumstances, as Alex O’Leary and Warren Mann netted in the dying minutes of the game to turn what looked like another defeat into a deserved victory and Rovers’ boss, Mark Pritchett, was quick to praise the spirit in his squad.

“The boys showed fantastic character, to come back from 2-0 down and then win the game after it was 3-2 with only minutes remaining”, he reflected. “We have a good group of lads and a great spirit in the dressing room, which came through on Wednesday, helping us to secure a valuable three points.” A Rory Sproule brace and an own goal from Shayne Anson looked likely to hand the hosts a win in the midweek tie, but the fighting spirit from Rovers proved enough to seal a win in dramatic circumstances. This is followed by a trip to Burnham that looks a winnable game, but Pritchett is urging his troops not to underestimate the opposition and make sure they take all the positives from Wednesday into the game and secure a second consecutive win.

“There were some strange results in the Hellenic League last weekend and Burnham picked up three points against Lydney Town, so we know we’re in for a difficult game”, he said. “Despite getting the three points at Wootton Bassett, we gave away three sloppy goals and that needs to be addressed.”Aside from the ebullience that has followed their midweek win, Rovers’ spirit has been buoyed by the return of several players, with Marcus Foxwell and Dave Evans now likely to be available after missing most of the last two months, whilst Danny Wallington and Macaulay Herbert should also return for the trip to Burnham.

The win on Wednesday took Rovers to twelfth in the table, whilst Burnham, who were not in midweek action currently sit in eighteenth out of twenty teams.


Royal Visit Looms For Rovers - 6 December

Mark Pritchett will take his Tuffley Rovers squad to Royal Wootton Bassett Town tonight, hoping for a return to winning ways, against a team who sit four points above Rovers, but who have experienced some extraordinary results in their last two Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division games.

A 7-3 win against Binfield seven days ago was followed by a 6-1 defeat at Abingdon United on Saturday, with those results preceded by a 3-0 defeat against Wantage Town, so that Rovers visit a side in very different from to the side that were in the midst of a long unbeaten run when they won at Glevum Park on 19 September.

After an agonising defeat against Flackwell Heath on Saturday - when the hosts’ centre-half, Jamie Essex, scored three times from set-pieces, in a game which might have gone in Rovers favour on another day - Pritchett is looking forward to getting straight back into action, with a view to recovering quickly from two consecutive dates and remains in confident mood ahead of the trip to Wiltshire.

“We gave a really good account of ourselves on Saturday and more than matched a team who are looking to gain promotion”, he said. “Unfortunately, we switched off from three set-pieces and it cost us dearly.”Although he reflected positively on the overall performance ahead of Wednesday’s game, Pritchett was also quick to note the need for improvement. “It was disappointing to lose in the way that we did and we’ll need to improve on Wednesday, without any doubt”, he continued. “Wootton have had some very strange results recently but they beat us 2-0 earlier in the season, so I’m looking for us to put in a performance and hopefully avenge that defeat.”

After travelling to Flackwell Heath with a depleted squad, Rovers will welcome back up to four players, with Danny Wallington, Alex O’Leary, Marcus Foxwell and Mark Ford all looking to return to action.


Rovers Hope Depleted Squad Aren’t Diverted From Vital Points - 1 December

A trip to fifth placed Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division side Flackwell Heath beckons for Mark Pritchett’s Tuffley Rovers this weekend, as they look to bounce back from the disappointment of defeat in their last league game, against Binfield, last Saturday.

Last week’s opposition left Glevum Park with all three points, ending a six match unbeaten sequence for Rovers in the process, despite their journey from Berkshire being beset by difficulties, due to the closure of the M4. Rovers now travel in the general opposite direction, hoping their journey won’t be affected by similar troubles, although Pritchett is facing a weekend which could prove challenging for other reasons.

Assuming the journey to High Wycombe is without incident, Rovers will arrive at Flackwell Heath without four of last week’s squad, as Danny Wallington, Mark Ford, Alex O’Leary and Liam Wright are all unavailable. With Marcus Foxwell still on the injury list and Dave Evans not quite ready for a return, Pritchett will be left to patch up his squad, although he saw enough in the display against Flackwell, in mid-September, to go into the game in confident mood.

“We lost 2-1 to Flackwell a couple of months ago and it was my view that we were massively unlucky not to take something from that game”, he claimed. “If we can improve our defensive performance, from 1 to 11, then there is no reason we can’t come away with points, irrespective of who is in our squad.”

The defeat against Binfield last weekend brought to an end a run of creditable results, after a difficult spell, and Pritchett will be asking his side to maintain their recent positivity as they look to go on another run. “After losing our unbeaten run last week, we’ll be looking to go on another one, starting at Flackwell Heath”, he confirmed. “We were poor in the first half last week, but still managed to go in at 2-2 and I asked the lads for a performance in the second half. I was happy I got that and we deserved to win the game, but they got what I felt was a dubious penalty to take the points.”

Eric Edge will continue to cover the gap he has filled so capably since Evans sustained an injury against Longlevens six weeks ago, whilst youngster Cameron Williams and Will Emery have been added to the squad for the 3pm kick-off at Heath End Road.


Trio Return, Rovers Look To Maintain Run - 24 November

Off the back of a run of six league games without defeat, Tuffley Rovers prepare to host Binfield this weekend, anticipating a significant challenge to their aspirations to continue that run, but buoyed by the return of three players to Mark Pritchett’s squad.

Liam Wright, Alex O’Leary and Mark Ford all missed the trip to Ascot United last Saturday, when Rovers salvaged a point thanks to a late Shayne Bradley goal, but will return on Saturday, to increase the options available to Pritchett, after a relatively disappointing display in the 1-1 draw last time out.

Rovers met Binfield just five weeks ago, when they secured a 2-2 draw courtesy of goals from Warren Mann and Kieran Alder, and with confidence on the increase, Pritchett is hoping that his side can continue their good run and secure further, valuable league points. “We’ve been much improved of late, but Binfield will be tough opposition and will present us with a real test if we want to remain unbeaten”, he said. “We played out a really competitive game a few weeks ago and it could have gone either way. I’m expecting something similar again this weekend.”

Pritchett was quick to acknowledge that his side were slightly fortunate to rescue a point from their visit to Ascot United, but was also keen to praise his side’s new found resilience. “The performance at Ascot United last week wasn’t our best, by a long way, but we showed great character to claim a point in the closing stages; a month ago we would have lost that game and come away with nothing”, Pritchett reflected.

The return of Wright, O’Leary and Ford will boost the selection options available to Pritchett and he also hopes to see the return of captain Dave Evans in the coming weeks, although Marcus Foxwell may need a longer to recover from the injury he sustained at Binfield in late October.


Tuffley Have Confidence Back - 16 November

With a five game unbeaten run and four consecutive wins in all competitive games under their belt, Tuffley Rovers make the long trip to face Ascot United on Saturday looking to continue their excellent run of form and with ambitions to break into the top half of the Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division table.

A haul of eleven points from a possible fifteen has seen Mark Pritchett’s side quickly climb the league table, after a difficult spell of form in September and early October. Wins over Woodley United, Oxford City Nomads and Highmoor Ibis in the last three league outings have made a huge difference to the direction of Rovers’ season and Pritchett was quick to acknowledge the impact the recent positive results have had on his squad.

“The recent turn in form has been brilliant. We've got our confidence back and there's a good buzz about the place at the moment”, Pritchett commented. “A few wins on the bounce has pushed us up the table and into the sort of position where I want us to be.”

Saturday’s opposition, Ascot United, sit bottom of the division at the present time, but Pritchett was quick to point out that last weekend’s visitors, Highmoor Ibis, arrived in a lowly league position and out of form, but still tested his side, in an absorbing encounter. “Our fixture against Highmoor Ibis was a tricky game last week. They played some good stuff and didn't look like a side struggling near the bottom of the table. Ultimately, though, we did well and got the job done, although, if I'm going to be critical, we missed some very good chances to kill the game off and we need to be more ruthless in front of goal and learn to kill teams off”, said Pritchett. “Ascot will be another difficult test for us, but if our attitude is right and we keep the same work rate we’ve shown in recent games, I'm confident we can continue this good run we've put together and move further up the table”, he predicted. “We just have to make sure that we aren’t complacent, show our hosts the respect they deserve and focus on getting the result we want.”

Only Dave Evans (dislocated finger) and Mark Ford (holiday) will be unavailable on Saturday, meaning Pritchett will have an almost full squad to select from, after Shayne Anson completed his suspension and Danny Wallington returned to training after a recent back injury.


Continue Momentum -11 November

Tuffley Rovers will be looking to extend their recent run of good form, when they welcome Highmoor Ibis to Glevum Park, in Uhlsport Hellenic League action this afternoon.

After struggling for results during September and the first half of October, Mark Pritchett’s team are now on a run of one defeat in the last six games – with the only reverse a chastening defeat in the GFA Challenge Trophy – and are unbeaten in four, recording consecutive victories in the last three outings.

By contrast, today’s visitors are on a run of nine games without a win and have also parted with their long-serving manager, Marcus Richardson in recent weeks. However, Pritchett was quick to advise his squad not to underestimate their opposition. “Highmoor Ibis are a side capable of beating any team in the division, so we’ll have to take all the confidence we’ve built up coming into the game and follow it up with a performance”, he said.

The postponement of Tuesday’s fixture at Lydney Town means Shayne Anson still has to serve the final game of his four game suspension, whilst Dave Evans, Marcus Foxwell, Mark Ford and Danny Wallington are all looking to recover from injuries in time for the game.


Gloucestershire Sides Second Opportunity To Meet - 7 November

Two weeks after the postponement of the original meeting at Lydney Town’s Recreation Ground, the hosts will welcome Mark Pritchett’s Tuffley Rovers tonight, with the visiting team in vastly improved form.

When the game was originally scheduled for 24 October, Pritchett’s side had been on a run of five games without a win, with their last three-point haul ironically against Lydney, but they come into the second Uhlsport Hellenic League meeting of the season with three consecutive wins, in league and cup, under their belt and no defeat in four. By contrast, Lydney Town have played just once, recording a GFA Challenge Trophy over Division One (West) Cheltenham Saracens, and have won just once since the sides last met.

Following the latest victory, over Oxford City Nomads, on Friday evening, Pritchett is in confident mood going into the game with a fellow Gloucestershire club. “It was another fantastic three points, against a good footballing side, and I was particularly pleased with our second half performance, when we kept our shape and denied them the sort of opportunities that they’d had in the first period”, said Pritchett.

Veteran centre-forward, Shayne Bradley, scored a late winner on Friday evening and Pritchett was quick to praise the contribution of the former Southampton player, who also scored the winning goal in the previous league victory against Woodley United. “I was really pleased for Bradder’s, who has struggled with little niggles and has openly contemplated retirement, because he has been brilliant since coming back into the side”, Pritchett added.

Another player drawing rave reviews has been keeper Eric Edge, but he is unlikely to be available on Tuesday, having been named in the squad for parent club Cinderford Town, who will play at the same time. “Eric has come in and done exceptionally well, but the timing could be worse, as we hope to have Dave Evans back, after his dislocated finger”, Pritchett confirmed.

Evans’ return, alongside a number of other players completing suspensions and recovering from injuries, means Pritchett has an almost fully fit squad to select from. Shayne Anson will complete his suspension by sitting out the game and Mark Ford is 50/50, after picking up a knock at Clanfield a week ago. Will Emery and Cam Williams, two of the club’s promising youngsters, have been added to the squad for a fixture that promises to be an obstacle to maintaining the recent good form. “Lydney, away from home, is always a tough fixture but we’ll be looking to take the momentum we have established into the game and look to secure all three points”, Pritchett concluded.


Friday Night Football For In-Form Teams - 3 November

Two sides in good form will come together at Tuffley Rovers’ Glevum Park tonight, for a rare Friday night fixture.

Visitors Oxford City Nomads will visit Mark Pritchett’s Rovers off the back of three consecutive league wins, whilst the hosts are on a three match unbeaten run, after a difficult spell in September and early October. With Nomads’ parent club, Oxford City, having an FA Cup First Round fixture on Saturday, the Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division game was moved to Friday night and Rovers’ Chairman, Neil Spiller, is hoping it might help draw in a bigger crowd.

“We’ve only had one Friday night game in recent seasons, when we played Brimscombe & Thrupp last October, and that game drew a reasonable crowd”, he confirmed. “We were receptive to the idea of switching this game, so that Nomads’ players and management could attend their club’s FA Cup tie, and it will be good to see if it helps draw in a few extra spectators.”

Pritchett was pleased with his side’s performance and the result in Tuesday’s win at Division One (West) Clanfield 85 FC, not least because of a second consecutive clean sheet. “One of the most pleasing things on Tuesday, against the sort of side we often struggle against, was keeping another clean sheet, our second in a row. Clanfield made life difficult, putting everyone behind the ball, but as soon as we scored our first goal, we settled down and got the job done”, he reflected.

Pritchett is also hoping his side has turned a corner, after a string of positive performances were not matched by results. “We had a slightly rocky start to the season, but a lot of teams have been recording mixed results and it is really tight, from the mid-table positions down into the bottom four. Although we had been on a difficult run and the top six sides have pulled away, there is only a small margin separating the sides from seventh down. I still believe that we are capable going on a good run and a top-half finish would be a great achievement. If we can add a good run in one of the cups, that would make for a good season.”

With the visit of an in-form side, Friday night’s visitors will provide a good test for Pritchett’s improving squad.
“Nomads have picked up a couple of very important wins lately, so they’re coming into the game on a high, but if we take the positive attitude we’ve displayed in our last three games I’m confident that we can cause any side problems.”

The game at Glevum Park kicks-off at 7:45pm. Admission is £5 (£3 concessions) and U16s get free entry.


perpetua press newent printing solutionsFloodlit Cup Trip Beckons For Rovers - 31 October

After a return to winning ways in the league on Saturday, Tuffley Rovers will look to continue their improved form as they travel to face Hellenic League, Division One (West) Clanfield 85 tonight, in the Perpetua Press Hellenic League Floodlit Cup.

The win, against Woodley United, on Saturday had been preceded by a creditable performance away at Binfield the previous week, which heralded a welcome return to form for Mark Pritchett’s squad, after they had succumbed to a chastening defeat against Western League Hallen FC two weeks ago. With two excellent results under their belt, Rovers boss Mark Pritchett could be excused if he was guilty of a little over confidence, but he is quick to acknowledge that there is still room for improvement in his side’s performances.

“We put in a good performance on Saturday, when we looked comfortable, but we just couldn’t kill the game off”, he reflected. “It has been a persistent issue for us over the past two months, where we fail to take our chances, but I would be more concerned if we weren’t creating; the results will come if we keep playing as we have been.”

New ‘keeper, Eric Edge, signed to provide cover after Dave Evans dislocated a finger three weeks ago, was excellent on Saturday but Pritchett also acknowledged the broader contribution made, as a patched-up back four recorded only his side’s second clean sheet this season. “The clean sheet was the most pleasing part of the performance, and it was particularly impressive given that we had two of our midfield players in the back four”, he added. “Joel White had to play at centre-half and Liam Wright at left-back, so it was bit of a mixed up back four, but they slotted in brilliantly, working well with Sam Hill and Macaulay Herbert.”

Pritchett’s resources look set to be stretched further for their visit to Clanfield, and although the Rovers Player/Manager is available again, following suspension, Herbert is rated at 50/50 after sustaining a shoulder injury against Woodley, whilst Danny Wallington is likely to be absent with injury, too.

A game against lower division opposition means that Pritchett’s team will be favourites, but he was quick to warn his squad that they need to maintain the standards set recently if they are to progress in the competition. “We don’t know much about Clanfield and although they are a league below that means nothing in a cup tie”, he said. “I am keen for us to keep progressing in the remaining cup competitions, so I want us to be on our toes from the start, to make sure we come away with another victory under our belts.”


Haswell Departs Rovers - 28 October

Last year’s Player of the Year, Tristan Haswell, has left Tuffley Rovers this week, joining Southern League side Shortwood United, ahead of Woodley United’s visit to face Mark Pritchett’s side this afternoon.

Haswell has joined another former Rover, Ashley Davies, in making the move to Meadowbank, at a time when Rovers have been short of defensive numbers, but Pritchett was quick to wish the departing player well. “Whilst Tristan has left the club, I wish him all the best. He was absolutely brilliant for us last year”, reflected the Rovers boss. “Of course it is disappointing to lose him but I will never stand in the way of a player offered the chance to test themselves at a higher level and Tristan is plenty good enough to make the transition. It is a compliment to some of the success we’ve had here, too, as both Ben Tunnicliff and Ashley Davies have also stepped up to play at a higher level.”

Woodley United will arrive at Glevum Park to find a side buoyed by a solid performance in the 2-2 draw at Binfield last week, although the visitors are on a good run of form themselves, having won their last two Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division fixtures – against Fairford Town and Brackley Town Saints – which has seen them go above Rovers in the league table.

Although it is Woodley’s first visit to face Tuffley Rovers, they are a side that Pritchett’s team have already had some success against this season, albeit the Rovers’ boss is expecting a tough game, against a side who’ve progressed well after a difficult start to their first season in the Hellenic League’s top division. “We’ve already beaten Woodley this season, in the FA Cup, but that will mean nothing going into tomorrow’s game, as they have been picking up some very good results, of late, and have climbed the table quickly”, Pritchett acknowledged. “We need to take the same attitude we displayed in last week’s visit to Binfield into this week and that means we have to work our socks off for the entire game.”

In addition to Haswell’s departure, Pritchett will also be unavailable, as he serves out a suspension and Shayne Anson starts the ban he received for his second sending-off of the season, in the GFA Challenge Trophy defeat against Hallen FC. With Marcus Foxwell injured and Alex O’Leary unavailable this week, defensive options might be limited, but Mark Ford and Courtney Hamilton are now available for selection, whilst youngster Will Emery has been called up, after some strong performances for the club’s reserve side.


Defensive Difficulties For Rovers - 24 October

After signing Eric Edge to help solve a goalkeeping crisis, Tuffley Rovers’ boss, Mark Pritchett, will now face defensive problems, as his team make the journey to face Lydney Town, at The Recreation Ground tonight.

Edge made a solid debut in the weekend draw at Binfield, adding some stability missing since Dave Evans’ injury two weeks’ ago, and the trip was a positive one for Rovers, with the exception of injuries to Marcus Foxwell and Tristan Haswell, who will now miss the midweek game at one of Rovers’ fellow Gloucestershire clubs. With Pritchett and Shayne Anson both suspended, added to the departure of Ben Tunnicliff to Bishops Cleeve, the squad is looking short of defensive options, with Sam Hill and Macaulay Herbert the only regular squad members who usually play at the back. Attempts to bring in an additional centre-half in time for the game were unsuccessful, leaving the Rovers’ manager short of options. Despite any defensive concerns, Pritchett is focusing on the positivity generated by Saturday’s performance.

“After the run of results we’ve had recently, it was a brilliant response from the boys on Saturday”, he said. “Everyone one of the players who featured put a great shift in and showed fight, which has been missing in some of our recent games.” Despite the positive commentary, Pritchett wasn’t unhappy with another failure to secure a three-point haul. “Binfield are a good, well organised side and a draw was probably a fair result, although we could have nicked it right at the death, as we hit the post in the last ten minutes. Hopefully the result at Binfield will now give us the chance to push on in the league.”

The addition of two recent Gloucester City U18 graduates, Ashley Bird and Kieran Alder, is something which Pritchett has been quick to acknowledge and he was also pleased with the debut performance from Edge. “Eric came in and had a good debut, producing a few saves that helped us get a point, whilst youngster Kieran Alder and Ash Bird have showed a lot of promise coming into the squad.”

Despite the absence of a number of defensive options, Pritchett will welcome Brett James back into the squad, after he served a one-match ban, and Courtney Hamilton, who has been absent from the squad in recent weeks.


New Keeper Signs - 21 October

With first choice keeper and captain, Dave Evans, side-lined with a finger injury, Tuffley Rovers will turn to their sixth goalkeeper in thirteen days when they visit Binfield today.

After Evans was injured in the game against Longlevens on 10 October his replacement, Player/Manager Mark Pritchett, was sent-off, to be replaced by another outfield player, Liam Wright. Peter Davies was added as emergency cover for the game at Abingdon United last Saturday, before youngster Robin Stamps had to make his debut when Hallen AFC visited Glevum Park on Tuesday. Although Stamps acquitted himself well, Pritchett wanted a more experienced option in goal and he has managed to add a new signing to Rovers’ squad for the trip to Binfield.

Still only 20 years of age, Eric Edge has significant experience across a number of clubs and has been signed on dual registration from Cinderford Town. The former Cheltenham Town youth player has Cheltenham Saracens and Bishops Cleeve amongst his former clubs, as well as a spell at US team FC Miami City earlier this year. Since returning to the UK his appearances have been limited, after a period awaiting International Clearance, so he has joined Rovers temporarily, with a view to getting some first team action. “I’m pleased to bring in Eric, who has signed with the consent of Cinderford, and it works for both clubs”, said Pritchett. “We get some cover for Dave, whilst he is out injured, and Eric will get some game time, which he’s been short of lately.”

Pritchett and winger Brett James are both suspended for the visit to Binfield, but several players who have been absent recently, including new signing Ash Bird and Mark Ford, who has returned to the club after a spell away from football, are back in contention. The additional options are welcomed by Pritchett, after an incredibly disappointing result against Hallen only four days ago. “Tuesday’s defeat was probably our worst performance in my time at the club”, Rovers’ manager reflected. “We started well, missed a couple of great chances and we went a goal down, it looked like we gave up.”

The Rovers boss was quick to acknowledge that an improvement is needed, starting with Saturday’s game, and he remains positive that his squad can quickly climb back up the league table. “Results have been poor but when I look at the league we are a win or two away from being in the top half of the table”, he added. “Confidence is very low at the moment but it is up to me and the lads to get us out of this rut.”

Despite plenty of optimism, Pritchett also acknowledges that the visit to Stubbs Lane is amongst the toughest challenges his team could face at the moment. “Binfield are on a good run at the moment and had a great result against Thatcham Town last weekend, so the games don’t get any easier. I’m confident we can get a result, but we’ve got to start believing it is possible, if that is going to happen”, he concluded.


Rovers Facing Keeper Crisis - 17 October

Tuffley Rovers’ manager, Mark Pritchett, is likely to hand a competitive first team debut to young keeper Robin Stamps, as he faces a goalkeeping crisis ahead of tonight’s GFA Challenge Trophy tie against Western League, Premier Division side Hallen AFC.

Stamps is no stranger to the first team squad, having featured in two pre-season games, but is likely to face elevation to the starting line-up in a competitive fixture, as Pritchett finds himself deprived of the services of three other keepers. Dave Evans’ finger injury is likely to keep him out until at least mid-November, whilst regular deputy Kane Winman is unavailable due to work commitments. Peter Davies, an emergency signing for the weekend trip to Abingdon United, is ineligible for selection, having signed too late to qualify under the competition rules, meaning Stamps may get his chance to shine.

The visitors arrive at Glevum Park unbeaten in four games and sixteenth in their league table, having endured a tough start to their season, where they won only one of their opening ten league and cup games.

Aside from the absence of several experienced keepers, Pritchett himself will be unavailable, having started a suspension following his sending-off against Longlevens last week, whilst new signing Ash Bird didn’t complete his registration in time to feature, but the Rovers manager is otherwise hoping to have a full-strength squad to select from, something he hopes will help his side advance a step further than they managed in 2016/17. “Last season we put in a poor display, one of our worst of the season, away at Kingswood, and lost on penalties, so I’m hoping we can put in a good performance and have a good run in the competition this year”, he said.

Acknowledging his side have been struggling to accumulate points in recent weeks, Pritchett remains upbeat about his side’s chances. “Tuesday’s game is another opportunity to try and get things back on track, after a difficult spell”, he reflected. “Saturday’s game at Abingdon United was a little disappointing, particularly not to grab all three points given how the game went, but we’re struggling at the minute to put the ball in the back of the net at the minute, although I'm confident with the group of players we have it'll soon change; hopefully starting against Hallen!”

Despite the absence of several options, Pritchett was delighted to see full-back Tristan Haswell play for the Reserves on Saturday and he is back in the squad for the GFA Challenge Trophy tie. Marcus Foxwell should also return to the squad, whilst promising youngster Kieran Alder is set to start for the third successive game.

Rovers are offering reduced admission prices for the game, in the hope of enticing a few extra spectators along to Glevum Park, despite already having average crowds in excess of 100 spectators during the season to date. “We often start the season with good crowds, but see them dwindle as the poorer weather and lure of midweek televised games kicks in”, said Secretary Neil Spiller. “We are hoping that the reduction in admission prices might be enough to tempt a few people to come along and support the team.” Kick-off at 7:45pm.

bristol cityTuffley v Bristol City XI - 3 October

Tonight Tuffley Rovers will celebrate the achievements of one of the leading figures in their history, when they welcome a Bristol City XI to Glevum Park for a friendly fixture to celebrate the naming of their newest stand.

The A W Purdy Stand, sponsored by Severn Signs, will be officially opened approximately ten months after JMJ Fabrications completed the construction of the 100-seater stand, with Executive Chairman and Football Secretary, Neil Spiller, delighted that the club has been able to pay their respects to one of the club’s most influential characters.

“The decision to name the 100 seater stand, completed by one of our fine group of sponsors JMJ Fabrications almost ten months ago, didn’t take long. It was an unquestionably unanimous decision made by our Committee but it took time to find the right opposition, at the right time of year, as well as making contact with members of the Purdy family, so that we had their consent to honour a fine man, who gave so much to this club”, Spiller confirmed. “Hopefully, the delay in officially opening and naming the stand will have been worth it” he continued. “I am delighted that several members of Mr Purdy’s family will be able to join us for the evening.”

Although Spiller didn’t know Mr. Purdy personally, he is quick to acknowledge the former Chairman and President’s contribution to the history of the club. “I never knew Mr Purdy and I didn’t get the chance to meet him. However, those who did know him talk about him in reverential terms, with a huge level of respect for his contribution to the club evident. I have also had the benefit of reading a document summarising the history ofProviding nursing respite care for Gloucestershire's life limited and life threatened young children. Tuffley Rovers, written in 1990, and that offers an insight into his significant contribution, too. He was pivotal in creating our social club – a source of revenue for the club and a part of our local community – and also secured the original lease for the ground, which we now own”, Spiller added. “Hopefully, naming the stand after Mr Purdy will be a fitting and lasting tribute; a simple way to acknowledge his wonderful contribution to our club.”

The stand, along with other improvements to the Glevum Park site, was completed with support from the Football Foundation, who provided in excess of £14,000 funding to the project.

Kick off at 7:30pm, with funds being raised for local charity The James Hopkins Trust. The presentations will take place before the game and the club have asked spectators to arrive in time for a 7pm start.


Pritchett Demanding Improvement - 30 September

Tuffley Rovers are in action against Lydney Town this afternoon, with their manager, Mark Pritchett, demanding more from his squad, as they look to get their season back on track.

Lydney Town will be the visitors to Glevum Park on this occasion and that will give Rovers another opportunity to claim a much needed win, after their barren spell was extended to seven games after the midweek defeat at Fairford Town. However, Pritchett isn’t too downcast and believes his side will soon start accumulating points one again. “We had another poor result on Wednesday evening and our first half display wasn’t good enough”, he said. “I asked for a reaction in the second half and they gave me that, but we were caught out by a last minute sucker punch.”

Pritchett has previously pointed to a lack of confidence in recent weeks and believes that is inhibiting his squad at the present time. “The lads are incredibly low on confidence at the moment but it is times like these that we need to stick together, roll our sleeves up and stand up to be counted. The games don’t get any easier in this league and another big local derby – this time against Lydney Town – is going to be another difficult test”, he confirmed.

Pritchett isn’t despondent and believes if his side can put in a performance this weekend, they will be in a position to start climbing the league table again. “The league is still tight at the moment, but a couple of wins would take us back up into a mid-table position, which is where we should be looking to be.”

To add to a difficult period, Pritchett is deprived of several players this weekend. Brett James is suspended after picking up his fifth caution of the season against Brackley Town Saints, last Saturday, whilst Ben Tunnicliff, Shayne Bradley and Jamies Goodwin are all struggling with injuries. Macaulay Herbert is not available for the Lydney game, leaving Pritchett short of numbers, meaning youngsters Cam Williams and Will Emery have been added to the squad. One piece of good news is that Tristan Haswell will return to training this week, after fracturing his leg at the start of the season.


Rovers Look To Get Back To Winning Ways - 27 September

mark pritchett tuffley managerAfter bringing an end to a run of defeats, with a 3-3 draw on Saturday, Tuffley Rovers travel to fellow Gloucestershire club Fairford Town tonight, looking to record a first league win since 28 August.

This will be the clubs’ second meeting of the season, after they drew 1-1 in the opening game on 1 August, and although Rovers’ manager, Mark Pritchett (pictured) , knows the opposition are without a win since appointing his former Cirencester Town teammate, Jody Bevan, as their manager, he isn’t underestimating the challenge facing his side if they are to get back to winning ways. “Fairford are showing signs of improvement under Jody’s lead and they have been able to bring in some additional players for recent midweek games”, he said. “Whoever they put out, though, I know we are more than capable of getting the result we need.”

Although recent results haven’t gone their way, Pritchett has been quick to see the positives in the performances against a number of the Hellenic League, Premier Division’s top teams, but he was disappointed with the display against Brackley Town Saints on Saturday. “I was particularly disappointed that we lost a two goal lead on Saturday and the performance was generally poor”, he summarised. “But there are positives and we showed real character to grab a late point after going behind. It’s important, especially when things aren’t going your way, that you just keep picking up points.”

Pritchett will go with a largely similar squad to the one that faced Saints on Saturday and doesn’t feel that any magic cure is needed before his side get back to winning ways. “We just need to get back to basics and inject a little more hard work into our performances, which is what won us a lot of points last year”, he concluded.


Rovers Go In Search Of Goals - 22 September

With performances not being matched by results, Tuffley Rovers will be hoping for a change in fortune when they welcome Brackley Town Saints to Glevum Park on Saturday, for their latest Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division fixture.

The Northamptonshire side, who are a development squad associated with Vanarama National League side Brackley Town, will visit Rovers' home sitting in seventh place in the league table, with Rovers in fifteenth, after a run of three consecutive league defeats.

After a run of poor results, Rovers’ boss Mark Pritchett is wary of the threat posed by The Saints, particularly as his side appear short on confidence at the present time. “Confidence is something our lads appear to be short of at the moment but our displays - albeit not the results - have been good and I'm confident we will turn it around”, he said. “Against Flackwell Heath and Royal Wootton Bassett Town we had plenty of the ball, but we need to be more creative and start taking chances when they come our way!”

After winning 5-0 at home in 2016/17, only to lose 5-1 in the reverse fixture, Pritchett will not be underestimating Saturday’s visitors. “Saturday's game is another challenging one. Brackley Town Saints will be another tough test; they are usually a good, young footballing side and we will need to be up for this if we're to get back to winning ways.”

Youngster Kane Winman deputised in goal for the injured Dave Evans on Tuesday evening, against Bassett, and is likely to feature again on Saturday, but Pritchett looks otherwise to have a full squad to select from, although Marcus Foxwell faces a fitness test, due to a niggling injury that he’s been carrying since the FA Vase defeat at Crawley Green.


Looking To Reverse Form - 19 September

Tuffley Rovers are in midweek action on tonight, looking to reverse a sequence of form that has seen them lose four consecutive games in all competitions.

After two defeats against the Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division’s form teams, extending the club’s losing sequence, after defeats in the FA Cup and FA Vase, Rovers host another form side, Royal Wootton Bassett Town, who have recorded four wins, in all competitions in the run up to the game at Glevum Park this week.

Mark Pritchett, Rovers’ boss, is far from downbeat as he looks forward to the visit of the Wiltshire side. “The defeat on Saturday was hard to take, as I thought we more than matched them and we were unlucky not to have a goal not given from Shayne Bradley’s header [which appeared to cross the line but was ruled out]”, rued Pritchett. “Despite the result, we can take a lot of positives from the game.”

Youngster Cam Williams made his full debut in the defeat at Flackwell Heath and will be in the squad again on Tuesday evening and Pritchett has an almost full squad to select from, in what Pritchett believes will be another tough challenge.

“Things might not have been going for us at the moment but we need to stick together, keep working hard and I’m sure our luck will change”, he said. “It’s going to be another tough game against Bassett, as after a slow start, they managed to win four on the bounce, so they’ll be coming full of confidence.”


Bruised Rovers - 15 September

After a disappointing 3-0 scoreline against Highworth Town, the only Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division side with a 100% record, on Wednesday, Tuffley Rovers face another daunting challenge on Saturday, when they host current league leaders Flackwell Heath.

The Heathens arrive at Glevum Park with seven wins and a draw from their opening nine games, heading the table and looking like one the sides most likely to challenge for this season’s title…as well as having scored 26 goals in the league, so far this season.

As a consequence, Rovers’ boss Mark Pritchett is anticipating another tough fixture, but he is far from downbeat, following a defeat against another side he expects to be challenging for the Hellenic League title this season. “We played very well in the first half at Highworth and had some good chances, but we gave away two sloppy goals, both from set pieces, and once they got their third, it was pretty much game over”, Pritchett confirmed, as he reflected on a third consecutive defeat in all competitions.

Highlighting positives in his team’s performances in those defeats hasn’t been difficult for Pritchett and he was quick to acknowledge that the fixture schedule has handed Rovers a challenge or two, having faced Highworth Town twice already and with the league leaders next up. “I fully expect both Highworth Town and Flackwell Heath to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season and you have to say ‘fair play’ to Highworth, as they’ve assembled a very strong squad, but we’ve got to focus on the positive aspects of our performance and bounce back on Saturday”, he added. “Although we’ve lost three games in a row, which is disappointing, we’ve started okay in the league and have a couple of games in hand on most sides, which will give an opportunity to improve our position.”

The visit of The Heathens will be the second of four league games in eleven days for Pritchett’s men and despite the difficulty of the challenge, he is expecting his side to make sure opposition teams have to work hard for points. “We have games coming thick and fast, so we’ve got to start posting some points, but we’re more than capable of getting results in the next week or so”, he confirmed. “Flackwell Heath are another side who’ve started the season well, so it is definitely promising to be another tough afternoon, but we are more than capable of getting a result.”

The last three games may have brought a run of defeats, but Pritchett is starting to have more options, as a number of players return to action, following injuries, suspensions and other non-availability. On Saturday, he hopes to welcome back Warren Mann, Shayne Bradley, Cam Williams and Jack Overthrow, who will add some depth to a squad that has been short of numbers in recent times. Marcus Foxwell will face a late test, having picked up a knock in the defeat at Highworth, but is likely to be available for selection.

Rovers Facing Tough Spell - 12 September

Tuffley Rovers will look to bounce back from two consecutive cup defeats, as they return to league action on Wednesday evening, with a trip to face the only Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division side with a 100% record, Highworth Town.

Despite the cessation of their FA Cup and FA Vase hopes in the last ten days, Rovers have performed well in the league this season, with just one defeat, although that was a 4-0 reverse when Wednesday evening’s opponents visited Glevum Park on 15 August.

Rovers’ manager, Mark Pritchett, has reflected positively on their FA Vase exit, at the hands of Crawley Green this weekend. “We were unfortunate to bow out, at the first hurdle, on Saturday and probably deserved a better result”, he said. “I felt that we went through the motions in the first half, but in the second half we stepped up a gear and gave it a good go, only for them to snatch the result with a late winner.”

Despite his disappointment at the end of their time in the FA competitions this season, Pritchett has prioritised a solid league campaign and can’t wait to get back to action when they visit Highworth. “Of course it is disappointing to be out of the Vase, but our main focus has to be on a good league campaign and we know we’ll have a tough game on Wednesday, against a good Highworth side”, he observed. “We know their qualities but we’ll be going there looking to cause an upset and come away with a decent result.”

Pritchett has seen his squad stripped of options in recent weeks and he is without some key players for the trip to Wiltshire, as Shayne Bradley will join Warren Mann, Tristan Haswell, Harry Walker and Ben Tunnicliff on the list of absentees. He hopes to have Jack Overthrow and Jamie Goodwin available again, as his side look to accumulate as many points as possible from a spell that will see them play four games in eleven days.

After the trip to Highworth Town, Rovers will host another high-flying side, Flackwell Heath, on Saturday and then have a midweek fixture at home on Tuesday, when Royal Wootton Bassett Town visit. The following Saturday will then see Pritchett’s men at home again, as they welcome Brackley Town Saints to Glevum Park. “We know this will be a tough period, especially as the Highworth game is followed by the visit of Flackwell Heath, but we’ve just got to do our very best and hopefully come away with as many points as possible”, Pritchett added.


buildbase fa vase logoRoad To Wembey (Alternative Route) - 7 September

Just seven days after bowing out of the Emirates FA Cup, Tuffley Rovers almost immediately set out on another FA knock out adventure, this time in the Buildbase FA Vase. Starting the 2017/18 "Road to Wembley" campaign with a trip to Crawley Green this weekend.

Last Saturday Mark Pritchett’s side put in a valiant display - after playing 85 minutes against higher division opposition with ten men, after Jamie Goodwin was sent-off early on for a handball - before succumbing to a 5-0 defeat to Swindon Supermarine. Pritchett is confident that defeat is now behind his squad and chose to focus on a number of positives that he could take from the game. “Last week’s game was very disappointing. Going down to ten men, so early in the game, probably killed the tie, but the lads worked their socks off and I couldn’t fault anyone for their performance”, the Rovers’ boss confirmed.

The decision to award a penalty and send-off Goodwin was one that disappointed Pritchett, but he acknowledged that his side were up against a class side last week. “I’m not sure if it was a handball or not; Jamie is an honest lad and I don’t think there was any intent on his part, but you have to say ‘fair play’ to Supermarine, because once they were in front, they worked the ball well and made us work exceptionally hard”, he said.

With their fate in the FA Cup determined for another season, Rovers move on to play Spartan South Midland side Crawley Green on Saturday and although the opposition are something of an unknown quantity, they play in the same division as Leighton Town, who Pritchett’s men recently defeated 3-2 in the FA Cup competition.

Pritchett is keen for his side to move on from the defeat and sees the FA Vase as a great opportunity to put the Supermarine defeat behind them. “We had a decent run in the FA Cup, but we need to get that out of our system and see if we can get a good run going in the Vase. It is another trip into the unknown, as I know very little about Crawley Green, but I’m confident we can go there and get a result, as we’ve started the season quite well and will be looking to pick up where we left off before the Supermarine game.”

Injuries and non-availability have continued to deprive Pritchett of several players and Goodwin’s one match ban, from the game against Supermarine, means he’ll miss out on an FA Vase appearance, and will be a spectator alongside Harry Walker, Tristan Haswell, Ben Tunnicliff and Warren Mann. Dave Evans and Shayne Bradley should return, whilst seventeen-year-old Cameron Williams may be included after excellent cameos against Brimscombe & Thrupp and Supermarine.

Saturday’s opposition currently sit in ninth place in the South Midland Premier Division, with two wins, one draw and two defeats in their five league games this season, and defeated another Hellenic League Premier Division side, Royal Wootton Bassett Town, in the FA Cup earlier this season. The game kicks-off at 3pm on Saturday and Rovers are offering coach travel for supporters who wish to attend.


Big Day Looms - 1 September

With just one defeat from seven games so far this season, Tuffley Rovers head into one of their biggest games in recent years, hoping to record a victory that would rank amongst the club's greatest achievements.

Southern League side Swindon Supermarine head to Glevum Park this Saturday, as the two sides challenge for a place in the Second Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup and although the visitors have a pedigree in the competition, having reached the Second Round Proper in 2010/11, a win would equal the best ever run for Mark Pritchett's Rovers. After being deprived of several players' availability for the Bank Holiday win over Brimscombe & Thrupp, Pritchett is in confident mood, as he welcomes back a number of key players this weekend.

"Supermarine will be a big test for us, but one which we're looking forward to", he confirmed. "There's no pressure on us, whatsoever, so it will be a good opportunity for the boys to go out, enjoy it and test themselves against higher division opposition."

Pritchett is also mindful of the opportunity to secure a historic achievement. "It would be brilliant to get through, as it would equal the clubs furthest run in the competition and with the Conference South clubs coming into the next round, that gives us a massive incentive of securing an even bigger tie if we can get through."

Jack Overthrow will return to the squad, after missing the Brimscombe game to attend the birth of his first child, and Pritchett also hopes to welcome back Warren Mann, Brett James, Shayne Anson and Ashley Davies, who all missed the last game.  Tristan Haswell and Harry Walker are long-term absentees, whilst Ben Tunnicliff is unlikely to feature, but Pritchett also hopes to have Shayne Bradley and Liam Wright available, despite picking up knocks in recent games. He has also looked at bringing in additional signings, before the 12noon, Friday deadline.

"We've got a good squad, but injuries and suspensions have already taken their toll, so I am keeping an eye out for players who might be looking for a new opportunity, as often happens at this stage of the season", he added.

Swindon Supermarine, managed by former Gloucester City player, David Webb, arrive at Glevum Park unbeaten in competitive games this season, after opening their campaign with two draws, before a run of three consecutive wins, including a 1-0 win against Northwood in the Preliminary Round, two weeks ago.


Hoping To Break Scoring Duck - 28 August

After two dramatic finales in his side’s last two fixtures, Mark Pritchett is looking for something rather more straightforward as his Tuffley Rovers squad look forward to hosting Brimscombe & Thrupp on Bank Holiday Monday.

Sam Prior’s Lilywhites visit Glevum Park for the clubs’ first meeting this season, having had the better of the three encounters in 2016/17, when Brimscombe were undefeated against Pritchett’s charges, recording two wins, as well as a draw in the August Bank Holiday weekend, twelve months ago.

Pritchett has pointed to the need for his side to carry a greater goal-threat, after they failed to register a single goal in the three meetings. “Brimscombe & Thrupp were our bogey side last year, as we failed to score against them all three times the team met, so this meeting offers a chance for us to look at putting that right”, he said. “We come into the game in confident mood and hopefully we can secure some more valuable league points, before we host Swindon Supermarine next weekend (in the Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round).”

Pritchett may need to return to the playing squad for the game, after Harry Walker’s leg break at Longlevens means he has joined Tristan Haswell and Ben Tunnicliff on the injured list. Shayne Anson has a further game to serve from the suspension he incurred as a consequence of being sent-off against Windsor FC, meaning the Rovers’ boss has been stripped of defensive options.


mark pritchett tuffley rovers managerDerby Days Loom For Rovers - 25 August

Mark Pritchett’s Tuffley Rovers head into a Bank Holiday weekend that will see them participate in two local derby fixtures, as they visit their closest neighbours Longlevens on Saturday, before hosting Brimscombe & Thrupp two days later.

The first game of the weekend will give Pritchett a chance to see whether his squad can build on the euphoria that accompanied a thrilling comeback victory at Leighton Town last weekend, but he’s anticipating a tough challenge when his squad make the short trip to Sawmills at the start of the weekend.

“After last week’s heroics, we turn our attention to two local derbies and the first one, against Longlevens, is going to be a tough start”, said the Rovers boss, who is expecting his opposite number and friend, Mark Moore, the new Longlevens manager, to have a well drilled squad, who will provide a stern challenge. Mark is a good mate of mine and he’s got Longlevens playing well. They’ve started really well and were unfortunate to go out of the FA Cup. Knowing him, he’ll have them organised and full of energy, which is exactly the way he was as a player.”

Sam Hill’s late winner last Saturday, when Rovers came from two goals down, with less than ten minutes remaining, means that the squad go into the weekend full of confidence and Pritchett has the bonus of welcoming back some players who have been unavailable in recent weeks.

Only Shayne Anson is definitely unavailable for the weekend games, as he serves out a suspension, but Ashley Davies has completed his ban and Pritchett has an otherwise full squad to select from, although Tristan Haswell and Alex O’Leary may need late fitness tests if they are to feature. “We are going into the weekend on a massive high”, mused Pritchett. “We’ve had the boys in twice this week, to keep up the buzz, and we’ll be looking to put in two good performances and secure the full six points.”

Rovers’ visit to Longlevens is a 3pm kick-off on Saturday, before they host Brimscombe & Thrupp FC at Glevum Park, in another 3pm kick-off on Monday.


Rovers On The Road In Emirates FA Cup - 18 August

Tuffley Rovers make a journey into previously uncharted territory for the club tomorrow, when they travel to meeting Spartan South Midland League side Leighton Town in the Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round.

After overcoming a fellow Uhlsport Hellenic League side, Woodley United, in the last round of this season’s competition, Rovers will be hoping that the 166 mile trip to Leighton Buzzard on Saturday will not be in vain, and they can book a place in the First Qualifying Round for the first time since 2015/16 and seventh time in total.

However, Rovers’ Manager, Mark Pritchett, is contending with a mounting list of injuries, suspensions and non-availability as he looks for his team to respond to their comprehensive 4-0 defeat, at the hands of Highworth Town, earlier this week. Shayne Bradley will be available again, after a week away, but Jack Overthrow is not available for selection and suspension rules out Ashley Davies and Shayne Anson. There are also doubts over the fitness of Ben Tunnicliff, who limped off at half-time against Windsor last Saturday, and Tristan Haswell, who suffered a knee injury on Tuesday evening.

One piece of good news is that midfielder Liam Wright is available for selection, the first time this season, after serving a suspension following his sending-off in last season’s Supplementary Cup Final and Pritchett is likely to add one additional player to his squad in time for the game.

“This is another trip into the unknown”, said Pritchett. “We are looking to forward to the game at Leighton, but they aren’t a team we know a lot about, so we’ll need to make sure that we go into this in positive mood, so we can put our name in the draw on Monday.”

After such a crushing defeat in midweek, Pritchett is expecting a response from his squad, as they look to extend their FA Cup campaign, after an exit at the first stage during his debut campaign as Rovers’ manager last season. “I’m confident, despite the blip on Tuesday, that we can get a positive result. The lads have started the season well but we came up against a very strong Highworth team, who fully deserved their win”, he reflected. “We huffed and puffed, but we were just not good enough on the night, so I’d like to make sure we improve on Saturday and keep our name in the hat for the next round.”

Leighton Town started their FA Cup campaign with a 4-0 win against a fellow Spartan South Midland League side, Oxhey Jets, and followed that up with victory in their first league game of the season, before suffering their own midweek misery, as they lost 3-1 to Biggleswade FC.
The game, at Leighton Town’s Bell Close ground, will kick-off at 3pm on Saturday. In the event of a replay being required, Rovers will welcome tomorrow’s hosts to Glevum Park for a 7:45pm kick-off on Tuesday evening.


Preparing For Worthians Visit - 13 August

After starting the season with two wins and a draw, from three competitive games, Tuffley Rovers are in action again on Tuesday evening, when they host Highworth Town in their next Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division fixture.

Following our creditable tenth place finish in 2016/17, Rovers' Manager, Mark Pritchett, has set his sights on an improved finish this term and after earning a hard-fought point on the opening day against Fairford Town, Shayne Bradley's goal proved enough to see off Windsor FC on Saturday.

Tuesday's opponents, Highworth, have started the season well, progressing in the FA Cup after a replay win at London Colney and recording consecutive league victories over Lydney Town and Burnham, meaning one of the division's form teams arrive at Glevum Park this week and Pritchett is expecting a tough game.

"We weren't in great form on Saturday, but we dug deep to claim the 3 points and I was really pleased that we kept a clean sheet, after we conceding a lot of goals during pre-season", said Pritchett. "Highworth will be another tough game for us as they've managed to strengthen their side this year and have started the season well, scoring a lot of goals. Although we did the double over them last year, I actually thought they were one of the best sides in the league and should have finished higher than they did".

The Rovers boss is missing a few players for the midweek visit of the side from The Elms, with Ashley Davies and Liam Wright still suspended, whilst Ben Tunnicliff and Alex O'Leary are injury concerns.

One player who has earned Pritchett's praise is veteran Bradley, whose 86th minute winner against Windsor settled that match in Rovers' favour. "I was really pleased for Shayne on Saturday", Pritchett said. "To come off the bench and score the winner, when he's been struggling a bit with a niggling injury, was fantastic."


Former Premier League Striker Set To Grace Glevum Park - 9 August

After a career that comprised stints at seven Premier League and Football League clubs, there will be a notable debut appearance for one of the opposition players when Tuffley Rovers host their next Uhlsport Hellenic League fixture at Glevum Park this Saturday.

Barry Hayles, who helped Fulham achieve promotion from the Championship to the Premier League in 2000/01, will be in the Windsor FC side who arrive in Tuffley to play their first league game of the 2017/18 season.

Hayles’ career started at the now defunct Willesden Hawkeye in the early-1990s and moved onto play for (then non-league) Stevenage Borough – later to become Stevenage – whilst they were an Isthmian League side. Having achieved great success there, he moved into the Football League, joining Bristol Rovers and scoring at a plentiful rate, before his move to Craven Cottage, where he scored 57 times in 214 appearances, including scoring 13 goals in English Football’s top flight. A career with several Championship clubs followed – with spells at Sheffield United, Millwall, Plymouth Argyle and Leicester City – before he moved to Gloucestershire, joining Cheltenham Town in 2008/09. After over 500 games and over 140 goals in the top four divisions of the English game, Hayles started a career in the non-league game that has encompassed appearances for Truro City, St Albans City and Chesham United, before he joined Windsor this summer, where he’ll take on a combined playing and coaching role.

Whilst this will be his first visit to Glevum Park, Rovers’ Manager, Mark Pritchett, has faced the Bristol Rovers legend before, when he lined up for Chesham United, whilst Pritchett was a player at Cirencester Town. “I played against Barry when I was at Cirencester, a couple of years ago, and he was still extremely fit and a commanding physical presence”, Pritchett acknowledged. “It will be a good experience for our younger players, lining up against an ex-Premier League player.”

Rovers come into the game off the back of an unbeaten start to their season, having drawn 1-1 with Fairford Town, before winning their FA Cup tie at Woodley United on Saturday, although Pritchett still sees room for improvement, if his side are to continue to accumulate points. “The lads were brilliant in the first half (at Woodley), but in the second we took our foot off the gas a bit and allowed them back in it. Overall I thought it was a pretty comfortable win but we have to make sure that we are ready for this game, if we are to get the result we’re looking for.”

Windsor were without a league game in the first week of the season but did start their competitive schedule on Saturday (also in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round), but succumbed to a 4-1 defeat at home to Wembley FC. Although Hayles is likely to be something of a celebrity figure in this season’s Hellenic League, Pritchett was quick to point out that Tuffley Rovers have their own former Premier League striker, too. “It will be a battle of two ex-pros, as we have our own Shayne Bradley, who played for Southampton, in the squad for Saturday”, confirmed Pritchett.

Rovers will be without Ashley Davies, following his red-card at Woodley United last weekend, whilst Liam Wright will serve the third match of a four game suspension and Alex O’Leary is unlikely to be fit enough to play, having sustained a thigh injury, having joined the club in the summer. Pritchett hopes to have an otherwise full squad to choose from, anticipating his Player/Assistant, Shayne Anson, will be fit to return to action, after the removal of stitches from a head wound sustained in the opening day fixture against Fairford Town.


Rovers Playing A Part In Cup History - 4 August

Tuffley Rovers will take part in a moment of history on Saturday afternoon, when they visit fellow Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division side Woodley United in the Extra Preliminary Round of this season’s Emirates FA Cup competition.

After tumbling out in the first round of the competition at this stage last year, the Glevum Park outfit will make the trip to the Riverside Stadium, which Woodley United ground share with Highmoor Ibis, to face a new opponent, who will be playing the very first FA Cup tie in the club’s history.

Following a 1-1 draw with newly promoted Fairford Town on Tuesday evening, Mark Pritchett’s side travel to meet another promoted side and he is anticipating a tough tie, after Woodley United started their league campaign with a creditable draw at 2014/15 Champions, Flackwell Heath, on the same night. “We’re going into the unknown a bit this weekend, with Woodley United being new to the Premier Division, but they made a great start on Tuesday, claiming a 0-0 draw with Flackwell Heath and I’m expecting a tough game”, Pritchett confirmed.

Although Rovers could only secure a point from their opening league game, Pritchett saw plenty of positives from the game and believes his side can progress to the next round of the premiere English cup competition. “I was quite pleased with the performance on Tuesday, especially the way we came from a goal behind. The boys showed great character and I think the draw was a fair result against a decent Fairford Town squad”, he confirmed.

Pritchett is definitely without Shayne Anson, Liam Wright and Joel White for the trip to the former home of Reading Town, but he is confident that he will have the rest of his squad available for selection and hopes that his team’s participation in the cup will last longer than in 2016/17. “Last season we got knocked out at the first stage,so this year we’ll be looking to get past Woodley and go as far as we possibly can”, he said. “Not only is that great for the lads and our supporters, but a good run in the FA Cup can generate much needed revenue, which can make a massive difference to the progress the club can achieve.”


Rovers Ready As New Season Dawns - 1 August

Tuffley Rovers concluded their pre-season programme on Saturday afternoon and if the scores during their fixtures in July are anything to go by, spectators visiting Glevum Park this season could be in for some entertainment!

By the end of their pre-season schedule, Rovers recorded two wins, three draws and two defeats, but that only told part of the story, as those seven fixtures saw a total of 42 goals; with an astonishing 22 for and 20 against! Their programme started with a 4-2 defeat against Cheltenham Town’s Academy squad at the start of July, before a 5-1 win against County League side, Hardwicke. A 3-3 draw at another County League team, Frampton United, followed, before two draws with Southern League opposition in the form of Cirencester Town (3-3) and Cinderford Town (1-1). Another defeat to a Football League club’s Academy team (this time a 4-3 defeat against Bristol Rovers) preceded the final game, which ended in a thrilling 5-4 win against Welsh Division One club Undy Athletic.

mark pritchett tuffley rovers managerAfter a healthy tenth placed Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division last season, as well as an appearance in the Supplementary Cup Final, Rovers head into the new season looking to build upon that last campaign, with their Manager, Mark Pritchett (pictured), hoping to improve on their final position in 2016/17. “To finish in tenth place last year was more than myself and Shayne [Anson, Pritchett’s Assistant Manager] expected. Although the Supplementary Cup final was a disappointing day, to get to that stage, in our first season, was brilliant”, Pritchett confirmed. “However, we want to keep progressing and are looking to finish higher in the league, whilst also having a couple of good cup runs, especially in the FA Cup and FA Vase which gives an opportunity to earn prize money that makes a real difference to a club like ours.”

Pritchett has looked to strengthen his squad over the summer, with the addition of Joel White, Christian Manners, Danny Wallington and Alex O’Leary to his squad hopefully increasing competition for places as the new campaign begins. Alongside the new signings, Pritchett is able to welcome back Jack Overthrow and Ashley Davies into his midfield, after injury plagued campaigns in 2016/17, with both regularly amongst the goals during the pre-season build-up.

August starts with the visit of Fairford Town and the Rovers’ boss is expecting a tough first outing, against a side managed by a former Cirencester Town teammate, the newly appointed Jody Bevan. “I’m expecting a very tough game. Fairford had an excellent season last year and knowing Jody, he will have them well drilled and properly organised”, Pritchett confirmed.

The first game of 2017/18 kicks-off at 7:45pm tonight. Admission is £5 (£3 concessions), with U16s offered free entry, as they are to all games at Tuffley Rovers.


Rovers Return To Training Tomorrow - 26 June

Tuffley Rovers’ preparations for the 2017/18 begin in earnest on Tuesday evening (27 June), when they start pre-season training.

Rovers will once again field five Saturday afternoon squads, with their most senior squad resuming Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division action, for the third successive season, and their first team manager, Mark Pritchett, can’t wait to get back into action.

“It seems a long eight weeks, without action and I can’t wait to get back to training and then into our pre-season programme”, he said. “We’ve got some good friendlies lined up and I hope to add a couple of players to our squad, so there is plenty to look forward to.”

With new management teams appointed for the club’s Reserves, Thirds and Fourths, Pritchett is a relatively stable hand at the club’s helm, as he approaches his second season in charge, with Shayne Anson continuing as his Assistant, too. Whilst Pritchett is hoping to see a few new faces at the pre-season sessions, he’ll be equally delighted to have retained the services of last season’s triple-award winning player, Tristan Haswell, and long-serving defender, Macaulay Herbert, who have both rebuffed approaches from clubs at Southern League level during the summer break.

Tuffley Rovers’ first training session is open to new and returning players, meeting 6:45pm at the club’s Glevum Park home on Tuesday, 27 June, with sessions each Tuesday and Thursday, until further notice.

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