FAIRFIELD Villa have been rocked on the eve of the new campaign after ‘inspirational’ captain Lewis Cosgrove and summer signing James Finn both sustained injuries.
Cosgrove was expected to lead the Bromsgrove side out again this season while Finn was likely to partner him at centre back following his move from Cadbury United.
However, the pair will now miss the Midland Football League Division Two campaign opener against Sutton United tomorrow (Saturday) after suffering injuries in pre-season.
General manager Paul Oakes said he was unsure when Cosgrove would return after sustaining ankle ligament damage.
But he admitted Finn’s injuries, which he picked up following an accident at work, were not as bad as first feared and felt he could be back soon.
“The injury to Lewis was a blow to us,” Oakes said.
“He has been an inspirational captain over the last couple of years.
“James Finn, who was his defensive partner when they were at Halesowen youth together, had a miraculous escape last Thursday.
“He was at work when he cut through major electric cables and he got severe burns to his arms, so he is being monitored at the moment.
“But we are hoping to have him available in a couple of weeks.”
The double injury blow seems to have capped off what Oakes described as one of the most ‘disruptive’ pre-season’s he has experienced.
His squad has been decimated following a string of departures, including their potent scoring trio of Connor Collins (Halesowen Town), John Pykett (Bromsgrove Sporting) and Ellis Blakemore (Pershore).
Their goals amounted to 84 and saw Fairfield finish third last season, but Oakes believes he has put together a squad capable of keeping them in the upper echelons of the league table.
“As a club we normally look to replace two or three that have progressed and have gone to higher grade football,” he said.
“But to have so many leave at the end of the season and the beginning of pre-season has meant extra work for the management team to go out and recruit players.
“I have never known a pre-season to be so disruptive.
“But I think we have done a good job (in the transfer market) and we will have to adapt, so we might not score as many but hopefully concede less.
“We finished behind two teams that got promoted this year and are now sitting pretty at the top of the league above, so we will try and emulate that this year.”
*DROITWICH Spa will be looking to open their Midland Football League Division Two account with a win when they host Hampton tomorrow (Saturday).