CIRENCESTER TOWN manager Brian Hughes believes Bristol Rovers fans will have good reason to turn out in force for the Centurions' pre-season home clash with The Gas on Tuesday (July 8).
"I know Darrell (Clarke) from the days when Salisbury were in the Southern Premier and I arranged this game with him not the youth team or reserve coach," said Hughes. "In their current circumstances, having been demoted to the Conference, I would have thought they would want to play most of their first team and new signings."
Only last week Rovers raided Torquay United to capture Lee Mansell, brother of former Ciren captain Richard Mansell.
Hughes' summer recruitment drive has been almost non-existent compared to Clarke's but he will give some game time to the returning Jamie Reid as well as possible signings Ed Williams (ex-Cheltenham Town) and experienced former Bath City full back Gethin Jones.
Jamie Edge, who left Ciren for Hereford last season and still hankers for full-time football, has been back training with the Town but begins a trial with Torquay next week as a possible replacement for Mansell so will miss the Rovers game.
Hughes remains hopeful that he can convince influential midfielder James Mortimer-Jones to reverse his decision to quit.
CIRENCESTER TOWN pre-season schedule: July 8 – Bristol Rovers (H) 7.45pm; July 12 – Newport County (H) 3pm; July 15 – Wootton Bassett Town (H) 7.45pm; July 22 – Longlevens (A) 7pm; July 26 – Weston-super-Mare (H) 3pm; Aug 2 – Cinderford Town (A) 3pm.