Cambridge have arranged a number of games in the run-up to this year’s start of the Northern League season but fixtures will go ahead only if the club can ensure it can adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
Reds head coach Paul Richardson says his Lotto NRFL squad will play reserve/first team games against:
- Huntly Thistle (home) – Tuesday March 2 (7pm)
- Otumoetai (home) – Saturday March 6 (12pm and 2pm)
- Waikato Unicol (home) – Saturday March 13 (12pm and 2pm)
- Matamata Swifts (home) – Saturday March 20 (12.30pm and 3pm)
It is expected the Reds will start their Northern League programme on Saturday March 27.
The pre-season games will provide decent tests of Cambridge’s readiness for the new season, with all four opponents playing in the WaiBOP Premiership.
Unicol finished third in the 2020 Premiership, ahead of fifth-placed Otumoetai and Matamata Swifts who were ranked 8th after the competition split into two groups of six for the latter half of the season.
The coronavirus-disrupted 2020 season saw the Reds complete only eight of their 22 fixtures so the players and coaching staff will be looking forward to their first full games in seven months.
Other key steps in the Reds’ pre-season preparation include:
- The appointment of the coaching/management staff for 2021, including new assistant coach Bradley Rea and strength and conditioning coach Rachel Finlay from “The performance room”.
- The appointment of Colin Coster as the coach of the Reds reserves who will be mainly an U-23 squad this season.
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