Franks injury a blow for struggling Cougars
Devonshire Cougars have suffered a major injury blow ahead of tonight’s crucial Premier Division match with North Village.
Defender Kijuan Franks could be out until next year after suffering a knee injury last weekend against Robin Hood.
Cougars picked up their first point of the season with the 0-0 draw at Goose Gosling Field, but it came at a price as Franks limped off about 15 minutes from the end with a suspected cartilage problem after twice jarring his knee.
“I had it checked and they said I might not have torn it, probably just stretched it, so I’m looking at six to eight weeks, but that all depends on the physiotherapy,” Franks said.
“This is definitely not what I wanted to happen, but some things you can’t prevent. The [artificial] field at BAA has no ‘give’ and my knee just went the other way.
“It happened on two occasions, and the second time I had to come off because I heard something pop.”
Cougars are bottom of the league and face a fight to survive. They lost nine players in the transfer market, forcing Kwame Steede, their coach, to continue playing in a bid to add some experience to the young squad.
Steede is hoping the draw with Hood is a turning point for Cougars, who won the “triple crown” just three years ago.
Cougars possess one of the worst defensive records in the league, conceding 15 goals in six games, so Franks’s absence in defence will be felt.
“I’m not too pleased about it all,” Franks said. “Considering our squad is not too big I’m hoping not to be out too long.
“We have the players to pull it off, but the results haven’t been kind to us. The results haven’t backed our performances, we’ve been playing some good football but individual errors have cost us.
“Teams have been getting one chance, two chances against us and putting them away, whereas we haven’t been too clinical ourselves in front of the net.”
Cougars have managed just four goals in the league, and are bottom on goal difference, with Hamilton Parish also picking up their first point recently.
Steede’s side will have their work cut out against Village, who are still unbeaten this season.
In tonight’s first game at Devonshire Recreation Club, X-Roads, bottom of the First Division, will take on Paget Lions team fresh off their first win of the season against Young Men’s Social Club.
Tomorrow, Robin Hood entertain champions Somerset Trojans at Goose Gosling Field, with three more matches on Sunday, when league leaders Dandy Town travel to Wellington Oval to meet Parish.
Town opened up a three-point lead when Hood, who are second, could only manage a draw last weekend, while Town were scoring four late goals against Boulevard.
At this stage last season Parish, like Cougars, were near the top of the table after collecting 11 points from their first six matches.
Promoted sides Devonshire Colts and Boulevard will meet at Police Field. Colts are in third place while Boulevard, last season’s First Division champions, are third from bottom.
In the other match, PHC Zebras will welcome neighbours Southampton Rangers to PHC Field.
PHC have not won since their Dudley Eve Trophy final triumph on November 11, while Rangers are one of the form teams, unbeaten in their previous four games.
Two important matches are scheduled in the First Division, with leaders St David’s visiting Wellington Oval to meet a St George’s team whose push for promotion is stuttering.
St David’s lead the second tier by two points, while St George’s have slipped to sixth.
Sunday’s game will be the first of two meetings between the neighbours in four days, as they will also play each other in the preliminary round of the Shield next Wednesday at Goose Gosling Field.
In another key league match on Sunday, Somerset Eagles will host Flanagan’s Onions at White Hill Field. Onions are second and Eagles third.
BAA Wanderers host Ireland Island Rangers at Goose Gosling Field, while Social Club take on Wolves at PHC Field.
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