Match Preview: Leamington Royals v Nottingham Outlaws

Nottingham Outlaws 2024 campaign finally gets underway on Saturday after a seven month lay-off from competitive league action. Indeed the last league match the team played was back in September when they entertained Ossett Trinity in what proved to be their final match in Yorkshire League Division 2 and this Saturday they start life afresh in the Midlands Premier Division with an intriguing looking clash at Leamington Royals.

The two sides have never met at senior level so it will be a true bellwether of what the Outlaws will be facing in the newly expanded Midlands Premier League that sees the Outlaws playing the likes of Swindon St George, Oxford Cavaliers and of course, local rivals Sherwood Wolf Hunt.

Despite a close defeat in the annual Heroes Trophy match a fortnight ago, the Outlaws will be looking to hit the ground running on Saturday with a new-look squad containing a number of new players on debut. The fresh faces will include several of this years Trent Scholarship players who have performed well in the BUCS student Premier Division with Callum Foster, Jacob Butler and Olly Hopkins all likely to be in the mix and they will be joined by several familiar faces including Captain Coryn Ward who once again be leading his charges from the front.

With the new campaign looming large, Outlaws wily coach Joe Shepherd was clearly looking forward to the start of league fixtures commenting “Personally I can’t wait for the first league game. The lads are chomping at the bit and everyone is raring to go after a really good pre-season. We noticeably improved from our training run-through with the Royal Signals and in last week’s Heroes Trophy against the Royal Artillery, and we’re looking for another improvement this week. Competition for places is going to be huge, so I’m excited to see which players step up and look to cement their place in the team over the coming weeks”