By Jamie Arrowsmith 20/06 Updated: 26/06 09:14
RUGBY Town boss Dave Stringer will be working his players hard in the run-up to the new Southern League campaign in August, as the club look to bounce back up to the Premier Division of the league at the third attempt.
Valley return to training next week and Stringer has added more fixtures to his pre-season friendly schedule to take the total number of matches to 11.
The new games see Town travel to Midland Alliance side Heather St. John on July 24 and they now round off their warm-up series with a trip to Loughborough Dynamos - who play in the Northern League regional equivalent to Rugby - a week ahead of the start of the league fixtures.
The home match against Conference North outfit Solihull Moors has been moved to July 17, with a new practice game also arranged for the Butlin Road astroturf pitch against Coventry Copsewood at the end of that month.
Stringer is hoping to retain most of last season’s playing squad, as a result of the verbal commitments made by them ahead of the return to training.
Keeper Dave Bevan has signed a one year contract at the club after the ex-Aston Villa man impressed in the second half of last season - recording nine clean sheets from his 17 games between the sticks.
Town are likely to be without the services of Seb Hamilton for the coming campaign though, with the striker struggling to offer regular availability due to work commitments.
Nineteen-year-old Luke Leahy may also be on his way out of Butlin Road due to a possible opportunity of a professional contract at Scottish First Division club Falkirk - managed by ex-Coventry City defender Steven Pressley.
Stringer is planning to add a number of new faces to bolster his squad after a second consecutive finish just outside the Central Division play-off zone last time out, with Long Bucky pair Craig Kelly and Fazel Koriya rumoured to be among his key targets.
Ex-Coventry City apprentice Kelly can operate as a full-back or in a midfield role, whilst Koriya is a pacy wide man who can also operate as a striker.
Both players were regular members of the Bucks team that topped the United Counties League in 2011-12, but were denied entry to the Southern League due to ground grading.
Revised Pre-Season Fixture Schedule: Saturday, July 7 Atherstone (Away); Thursday, July 12 Alvis (Home - Astro); Tuesday, July 17 Solihull Moors (Home - Main); Saturday, July 21 Racing Warwick (Away); Tuesday, July 24 Heather St. John (Away); Thursday, July 26 S&L Corby (Home - Astro); Saturday, July 28th Banbury (Home - Main); Tuesday, July 31 Coventry Copsewood (Home - Astro); Saturday, August 4 Oxford City (Home - Main); Tuesday, August 7 Brackley (Home - Main); Saturday, August 11 Loughborough Dynamos (Away).
Entrance to all friendlies on the main Butlin Road pitch is £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.
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