HEMSWORTH RUFC returned to pre-season training this week in preparation for another assault on Yorkshire League Division 4.
The Moxon Fields side just missed out on promotion last season but coach Mark Wilson is confident his men can go one better this term.
The squad returned to training on Monday night at their Moxon Fields base - a full two months before the start of the new campaign - and they’ll welcome Leeds Tykes stalwart Jon Pendlebury and former Wales international Gary Pearce for training sessions over the summer.
Wilson believes the duo will help give his squad a big boost as they aim to get back into top gear.
“Penny [Jon Pendlebury] is brilliant, the lads love it when he comes along to train with us,” he said.
“He came for two sessions last year and brought a couple of Leeds teammates with him so we’re excited that he’s coming back again.
“Gary is a big forward and he’s said he’ll come along and train with us as and when he’s needed so that’s also great for us.
“Luckily we have good ties with both of them and hopefully we’ll see the benefits on the pitch.”
Hemsworth battled with Burley for second-place in Division 4 last season but slipped away towards the end of the campaign and had to make do with a third-placed finish.
They kick-off the 2011-12 league campaign with a trip to Wetherby on Saturday, September 9, and Wilson hopes his men can achieve promotion this time around.
“It’s going to be a different league this season that’s for sure, but you can’t tell if it’s going to be stronger or weaker until a few weeks into the season,” he said.
“There are teams like Knaresborough and Old Otliensians included who are traditionally strong sides so we’ll have to be wary of them.
“Sheffield (Medics) went up comfortably last season but because they’re a university side they’re success all depends on the quality of the students they have in their team for that particular year.”
Hemsworth’s first home game comes a week later on Saturday, September 10 when Halifax visit Moxon Fields.
Hemsworth travel to Wakefield rivals Ossett on Saturday, September 17 and host them on Saturday, January 7 2012.
They’ll bring their league season to a close by hosting Wetherby on Saturday, April 14 2012.
The draw for the first round of the Yorkshire Silver Trophy has also been made and Hemsworth will travel to Adwick-le-Street, with a date yet to be arranged.
Hemsworth will face Huddersfield YWMC in a friendly and are also expected to announce pre-season tests against Rotherham Phoenix, Rotherham Clifton and Worksop as warm-up matches for the new campaign.
Wilson will be hoping new addition Matthew Lowe plays a part in the close season contests.
Lowe played for Hemsworth at junior level before moving on to Normanton Knights.
He secured a move to Cyprus through work and became a Cyprus international but has returned to Hemsworth this year due to family commitments.
Jonathan Johnson will also hoping to return to full fitness after undergoing knee surgery.
Johnson broke into the first team last season but saw his season cut short due to the knee injury.
Hemsworth are on the lookout for new players to bolster their 1st and 2nd teams for the forthcoming campaign.
Players are welcome to attend pre-season training, which takes place at Moxon Fields on Monday and Wednesday night’s from 7pm.
For more information contact coach Mark Wilson on 07949 569057.
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.