Preview: Stags ready for ‘fiery’ local derby against the Skolars

Hemel Stags club crest
Hemel Stags club crest

Hemel Stags will be looking to bounce back from their mauling at the hands of Toulouse Olympique when they welcome local rivals London Skolars to Pennine Way tomorrow afternoon.

Going into the derby game, Hemel coach Troy Perkins said: “I’m still a little disappointed with the way we played at times in Toulouse two weeks ago, hopefully we can make it right this week at home.

I’m sure Troy will have them fired up and I’m sure it will be a fiery game

London Skolars coach Jermaine Coleman

“The derbies against Skolars over the past three years have been really big games and both clubs have a couple of wins under their belt in these derbies.

“It will be a tough test against some former Hemel players who are down at Skolars now. We just need to improve a lot on what we’ve done the last few weeks.”

Skolars coach Jermaine Coleman, a former favourite at Pennine Way, said: “If I’m honest having a week off has been a pretty good thing for us.

“We probably started our pre-season earlier than most so a week off now is not necessarily a bad thing.

“It’s meant we could spend a little bit more time working on structures and shapes and fixing up what’s gone awry in the first couple of games. So it’s been a productive week for us.

“I suppose form will go out of the window on Friday; the last couple of games have been very close.

“When I was at Hemel we had some close fixtures. A couple of times we pipped Skolars and a couple of times they pipped us. Last year it was one apiece.

“We’ll go up there full of confidence and we expect to do well.

“If we turn up and perform to our strengths and abilities then we give ourselves the opportunity to win.

“I’m sure like every other southern team down here you turn up to play each other expecting to win. The focus is very much on us and turning up and doing what we need to do. I’m sure Troy will have them fired up and I’m sure it will be a fiery game.”