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HELLENIC LEAGUE: College students refreshed after break
ROB Hopkins feels a three-week break has done his New College side the power of good ahead of their return to action at North Leigh Reserves.
The students will target their first victory in Division One West since September 15 in Oxfordshire and boss Hopkins reckons his injury-free side are in decent shape.
“We haven’t played for two weekends but that’s given us the chance to recover from a few niggles and knocks and there has been a bug going round too,” he said.
“We were due to play Letcombe last weekend but they managed to get to the semi-final of the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup and that took precedence.
“We trained all this week and all last week and the lads are raring to go which is always a good sign, if they weren’t we’d be a little bit nervous. Hopefully we can get our first win since September.”
Hopkins is not sure what to expect from North Leigh Reserves tomorrow, a side who like College are struggling but whose personnel depends largely on the first team.
“I wouldn’t want the job of being a reserve team manager, I’d imagine their side changes on a daily basis never mind a weekly basis,” said Hopkins.
“You can’t draw anything from previous results because you don’t know who has moved up and down from the first team, so it’s a bit of a mystery.”
He added: “With the exception of Brimscombe and Bassett, everyone seems to be taking points off everyone else.
“Three good results can move you up the table and three bad results can send you down it. Every game is a cup final for us from here on in.”
At the upper end of the division, Wootton Bassett will hope to keep their promotion charge on track with three points at Letcombe, themselves battling the drop.
Rylands Way chief Dave Turner, who could be without Shaun Carter due to a knee problem, is determined his team will not take their foot off the gas.
“Letcombe will see it as a no-lose situation and they are always a decent team, they get the ball down and move it around,” he said.
“It will be a tough game because the teams at the bottom have as much to play for as those at the top, but we’ve stood up to most of the tests that have come our way this year.
“I always look at Letcombe as a middle to top side but every so often you have seasons where it doesn’t quite happen for you.
“They have had a few move on and got youngsters in, and when that happens you’re almost starting again.
“I’m sure they will be a far stronger team next year and be a handful.”