Villa has Rovers in sights

RICHMOND Rovers will take the first step in what could become their most memorable season in Football FNC premier league soccer when the Tursa Anzac Cup holders open the defence of their pre-season title against Alstonville tonight.

Alstonville has the home advantage for the 8pm kick-off and will start underdogs against Rovers, who are looking for a good start to their quest for an unprecedented fourth straight premiership double.

But Rovers will have to do it without four key players from last year – captain Joel Saye, the attacking Cassagrande brothers Ben and Tim, and midfielder Russell Dent.

Robust midfielder Aaron Heffernan is also out tonight, leaving new coach Tim Sheridan to start blooding their younger players for the season ahead.

Blair Smith, Jessie Hartman, Shane Scicluna and Shane Smith all come into Rovers’ new-look line-up to face an ambitious Villa side determined to make Crawford Park a fortress this season under new coach Troy Taylor.

“We’ve spoken about it a lot and despite the fact Rovers are the top side, we will not consider a draw a good result; we’ll be going out and playing for a win,” Taylor promised.

Injured flanker Rick Hanna is the only one missing for Villa and players to watch include striker Joel Perkins and former Lennox Head midfielder Josh Campbell, who has been named captain.

WEATHER: Thunderstorms, strong winds this afternoon

WEATHER: Thunderstorms, strong winds this afternoon

Rain and thunderstorms over the next few days.

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