Wanderers kick off in Kirkcaldy
Published 17 Aug 2012 11:50 0 Comments
GREENOCK Wanderers complete their pre-season programme tomorrow with a trip to Beveridge Park in the Kingdom of Fife where they face old adversaries Kirkcaldy.
The locals and Kirkcaldy faced off against each other twice last season, with Greenock winning both games in what were probably their two finest performances of the campaign.
A 27-23 victory at Kirkcaldy last October kick-started Wanderers' season - and at that time the locals were the only team to inflict a defeat on the league leaders.
Tomorrow's match is all about preparing for the league campaign ahead and while coach Graham Finnie is pleased with progress to date, he is aware that there is still plenty of work to do before the big kick-off next weekend.
He said: "We are making progress in terms of where we want to be and I am particularly pleased with the development of youngsters Alex Lyon, Michael Connolly, Aidan Crossan and Callum Reid. We learned a lot last week at Hamilton and we are nearly there in terms of selection for the opener."
The Fort Matilda outfit received a great boost during the week when London- based stand-off Ant Devlin contacted the club to offer his availability for the next few weeks.
With regular stand-off Kenny Diffenthal out injured, the highly talented Devlin's inclusion may prove to be vital - winning him an immediate place on the bench tomorrow.
Vice-captain and player of the year Brendan McGroarty is unavailable and impressive youngster Andy Telfer will form a new look centre partnership with Leigh Tyley.
McGroarty's leadership and strong running style will be missed, but the selectors are focused on ensuring there is adequate cover across the side in case of injuries during the season. Telfer and Tyley will make the most of their opportunity to catch the eye.
Up front, Marc Coyle, Martin Lavelle and Dougie Smith all return to compete for the starting berths with Murray McDonald, Alex Lyon and skipper Ali Abernethy forming the breakaway trio.
Former captain Matt Gray and Jamie Mooney will lock the scrum and with all units within the pack looking strong, Wanderers will want to put on a dominant display tomorrow.
Enthusiasm and positivity abounds down Fort Matilda way at present with the entire club looking forward with relish to the new season.
For those travelling to Beveridge Park the match kicks off at 1.30pm.
l Wanderers are sponsored by Texas Instruments.
This article appeared in Greenock Telegraph 17 Aug 12