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Simmons and Peskett return for Hood

Photograph by Lawrence TrottOn the move: Hood's Ryan, an attacking midfielder, is new to the island

Robin Hood already have some injury concerns just a week into the new season after Donte Brangman and Chris Fosker both went off with hamstring injuries in last weekend’s Charity Cup match against Dandy Town Hornets at Bernard Park.

Brangman lasted just eight minutes before he picked up his injury while Fosker, who played alongside captain Darius Cox in the heart of the defence, was replaced in the 67th minute.

Coach Kyle Lightbourne expects attacking pair Lejuan Simmons and Nathan Peskett to be back for tomorrow’s Dudley Eve Trophy group B match with Devonshire Cougars at Bernard Park at 1pm.

Chris Caisey made his debut for Hood in the Charity Cup after his transfer from Hamilton Parish while another former Parish player, Zuhri Burgess, was introduced for Brangman after his injury.

New signing Colin Ryan is another Hood player who picked up an injury in pre-season, although he did come on as a substitute for scorer Ereico Outerbridge against Town.

Ryan, who is new to the island, is an attacking midfielder who Lightbourne says “looks very useful”.

“We had a few players missing and Town brought on some of their starters towards the end of the game, but it’s a good benchmark for us going into the season,” Lightbourne said. “It’s the first game and you never know what to expect.

“I thought Chris did OK and obviously there is more to come from him.

“Zuhri came on and worked hard today while Colin came on towards the end and showed he’s got a good touch. I’m hoping we can be up there this season, we’ve got to work hard.

“Town will be one of the teams [to watch], we know that, and they tend to get better as the games go on.”

Town were able to dig into their reserves to fill the void left by the departure of a few players from last season’s league-winning team, including midfielder Fabian Frankson and goalkeeper Mikkail Crockwell to St David’s, George Dyer to Wolves, Quadir Maynard to Young Men’s Social Club and brothers Tristan and Tymon Daniels back to X-Roads.

Daeshun Butterfield, scorer of the second goal in the 2-1 win over Hood, has returned this season while goalkeeper Cymande Davis is also back to lend some experience after the departure of Crockwell.

“We’re happy to have these players back,” Jomar Wilkinson, the Town coach, said.

“We lost eight players from last season and we were kind of worried about how we were going to replace those players.

“We have players who didn’t play last season, they rejoined us and are like new signings. They have filled the void.

“Daeshun didn’t play last season, he had a knee injury, but is back this season. He’s a player who wants to take on players and be positive with his play.

“I’m glad to get the first game over with. We will use the Dudley Eve to build and get ready for the league and sharpen up the boys, get them tuned mentally and physically.

“We know it is going to be a serious challenge and not as easy as maybe it was last season. The boys are up to the challenge.

“Robin Hood have gone from strength to strength, my hat goes off to their whole organisation for the job they’ve done and the players they have brought in.

“They made it difficult for us [in the Charity Cup] and they brought a lot to the game.”

Devonshire Cougars and Boulevard both need victories to keep alive their chances of advancing to the semi-finals of the competition, after suffering losses to North Village and PHC Zebras in their opening group matches last weekend. Boulevard face Town in group A at 3pm tomorrow.

Omar Butterfield, the new Cougars coach, knows that anything less than a victory will probably not be enough to help his team advance to the semi-finals.

“Robin Hood is a tough game for us,” Butterfield said.

“However, if we perform to the best of our ability and go in with the right mental approach then we should be OK.”