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Rossendale RFC ready for tough start to the season
TIM Fourie is hoping that a tough, if not ideal, pre-season build-up will see Rossendale ready for Saturday’s season opener against arch-rivals Chester.
Dale, who missed out on promotion last season after losing to Dudley Kingswinford in the play-offs, entertain the Cheshire outfit in North Lancs Three North.
Despite not having a full squad to pick from due to work commitments and holidays during the close season, player/coach Fourie believes some hard work-outs will have Dale ‘battle hardened’ for their difficult opener.
The Marl Pits side travelled to North Wales for a team building exercise and match against Bethesda before taking on Sale FC and Otley.
And despite losing the last two matches, Fourie hopes such hard matches will have blown away the cobwebs.
“Sale are a level below us but they have a lot of financial backing behind them and big things are expected from them.
“And Otley have come down from a division above us.
“I knew they would be difficult games but I purposely picked them with the Chester game in mind because they are nearest rivals and there is some history between the two clubs.”
Although, Dale have improved year-on-year since promotion a few seasons ago, Fourie warned not to expect his side to go straight up this time around.
“We all want to win and losing in the play-offs was the closest we have got to promotion.
“But our first aim is to secure our place in this division first and go from there. If we finish in the top six, top three or on top then that would be good as well.”
Dale have brought in back row Matt Smith from Sedgley Park but have lost Johan Goosen, Matt McKenzie and talented back Will Sharratt – a product of the club’s excellent Colts system – who is going to study at Bristol University.
But Fourie is hoping more players can follow him up through the ranks.
“We have a great Colts system and we will be looking to blood them this season. Will and Tom Bedlow proved that so hopefully more can make the step up.”
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