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McSheffrey looks ahead to Armthorpe friendly workout

1 July 2022

Gary McSheffrey says fitness and enjoyment are top of the agenda as he sends his Rovers squad out for their first friendly of pre-season on Saturday.

Rovers will travel to Armthorpe Welfare for the traditional local friendly as they step up their preparations for the new campaign.

McSheffrey is expecting a good workout for his players against the Northern Counties East League outfit, which he is encouraging them to relish.

“We want them to enjoy playing a game again,” the first team manager said.

“It’s about fitness really. Some will play 45, some will play for an hour and it’s about getting the fitness under their belts.

“It’ll also be a good experience for the group of youth teamers, second year scholars who are going to come and get half an hour for us as well.

“It gives the opportunity for the fans to pack into a non-league set-up, it brings Armthorpe good revenue for the start of the season and you’ll have people in there that support both teams.

“It’ll be a good occasion. We’re very much about doing things for the community and we look forward to the game.”

McSheffrey revealed that Tom Anderson is awaiting an appointment with a specialist in regards to a foot issue while Aidan Barlow rolled his ankle in training earlier this week.

Kyle Knoyle underwent surgery on a groin issue at the start of the week but is expected to be back available in the first couple of weeks of the new campaign.

A handful of other senior players will not be risked in the game as McSheffrey seeks to ensure they are ready for the start of the season in just four weeks.

“There’s a few players coming towards the end of their rehabs and the first couple of games will probably come too early for them,” he said. “It’s important we don’t risk them when we’re getting them back to full fitness.

“Some are a little bit behind others so we go to Armthorpe with a mixed group really - first teamers and a few youth team players filling numbers for the second half.”

McSheffrey confirmed that Jon Taylor will feature against Armthorpe as he returns from injury issues which kept him out of action for all but three matches last season.

Tommy Rowe will also be involved having seen last season ended early due to a groin injury.

McSheffrey said: “Tayls missed a couple of days at the start of pre-season but he’s come back looking good. It’s great to have someone like Jon back with his character, his experience and above all else his quality.

“Tommy hasn’t missed a training session and he’s looking sharp. He’s leading the group and setting examples.”

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