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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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