We're itching to get out there and play again, says Rockleaze Rangers boss Carmelo Micciche
ROCKLEAZE Rangers manager Carmelo Micciche is both eager and wary ahead of his players' return to action this weekend after three weeks without a game.
Provided their pitch is playable, Rockleaze will resume their season against Chipping Sodbury Town tomorrow, having played only twice since the middle of December.
Micciche's men played themselves into a strong position before their weather-enforced break – and he wants them to carry on their form.
But he said: "My fingers are crossed we'll get a game this weekend – and obviously we're all itching to get out there and play football again. I've read that other sides have made sure they have done their training – and, while we have tried to do our bit, I've got to be honest and say we probably haven't done anywhere near enough.
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"We got together last Saturday and had a bit of a practice game, but I don't know what's going to happen when we get out there and play a real match in the league.
"We were quite happy with how we were doing and could really have done without an enforced break, but it is what it is, unfortunately."
The match promises to be one of the County League games of the day, with Micciche admitting Sodbury – who have bolstered their squad significantly – are a completely different side to the one they beat 5-0 in September. Hanham Athletic's 0-0 draw with Bristol Academy was one of only two games in the league to go ahead last weekend – and Hanham boss Steve Burton is looking to build on that point against Frampton tomorrow.
"I would have taken a 0-0 last weekend, because, after not doing any ball-work for a few weeks, the last team you would want to play are the Academy, who have been out every day on their 3G pitch," said Burton.
He is without Craig Stone, Jack Baber and Adam Grinter this weekend, but Darren Burt returns from injury.
Thornbury Town boss Bill Bond may have to play defender Sammy Lippiatt in goal against Ellwood tomorrow, as regular No 1 Alex Lippiatt is unavailable. Ricky Lippiatt and Nathan Sage also miss out, but Danny Thorpe is recalled and Harvey Arnold is promoted from the Under-18s.
Patchway Town beat high-flying Kings Stanley in their last outing, on January 12 – but have not played since. They are due to host Yate Town Reserves – and Yate boss Dale Dempsey believes teams should play midweek games early in the season to alleviate the fixture backlog that is on the horizon."You know every season that you are going to miss four-to-six weeks through the weather, so why not play midweek games in August and September, which would be an extra six games?" said Dempsey.
DRG Frenchay travel to Kings Stanley in the quarter-final of the Les James League Cup, with boss Dave Johnson admitting the pressure is off his "underdogs".