Rams on course for good season
North Village skipper Sammy DeGraff insists that nothing should be read into their Charity Cup victory over Devonshire Cougars over the weekend as his troops prepare for Dudley Eve action tomorrow night against Dandy Town at BAA Field.
A DeGraff brace and a late goal by teenage substitute Tarreko Wilson saw the Rams win 3-0 and claim the 50th piece of silverware in the club’s history, although the captain said he was more concerned with his side getting much needed match fitness.
Admitting that he was cognisent of the revenge factor in the Charity Cup after the Rams owned Cougars last year, he feels his side are on course to be fully prepared for the beginning of the league campaign.
“The main thing for us was to start the season on the right foot, the match against Cougars was a tough and was always going to be a tough game given we got the better of them a lot last season and they would come at us,” said DeGraff.
“The first game of the season is always a feel-out type of match because you want to see how far you have come along and now we have a sense of what needs to be done for us to get our title defence up and running.
“It is a new year, teams want to start out well, and for them they had a few guys out and few that were just coming back off of injury so I was happy that we were able to get the result in the end.”
Next up for the league champions is an opening night –showdown with Dandy Town at BAA Field.
The Dudley Eve trophy is –also currently in their silverware cabinet.
But they won’t have it their own way with the St John’s Road club having got the better of their city rivals last year and will be buoyant with new key players in their ranks.
Although they lost several players during the transfer window, including Lashun Dill who moved to Village, they also picked up eight players who are expected to add quality as well as quantity to the club.
With excitement mounting as the season begins in earnest, DeGraff wants his side to get their Dudley Eve campaign off on the right foot before facing St George’s in their final group game.
“We play Dandy Town on Wednesday in what should be an interesting match to say the least.
“They beat up on us last year and looking at the players that have gone to the club during the off season, they should have a good side.
“They have picked up some key players and I think it will be a good game for the fans and more importantly for us it will be another game for us to get some more match fitness under our belts in preparation.
“We obviosuly want to win the match because the Dudley Eve Cup is something we look to win every year as well as the fact that it is a group format with three teams and it is –important to get the win. A loss pretty much renders you out of the next round.
“We want to go through, so we want to get something out of the match but the win will be the main thing.
“They will be looking for the win, so it will set up as an interesting game for all those involved.”
Devonshire Cougars, PHC and Southampton Rangers make up the other group in the Dudley Eve.
Village’s clash with Dandy Town is scheduled for a 7 pm kick-off while last year’s –runners-up, Cougars, will tackle Rangers at 9 pm.