Preview: Stags ready for Swinton test in the League 1 Cup

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Hemel Stags play their first competitive fixture of the season on Sunday when they travel to Swinton Lions for a League 1 Cup fixture.

Hemel coach Troy Perkins says the game will give him a good idea of how his side is looking ahead of the new Championship 1 campaign.

“Swinton are a good team,” he said. “Having been relegated they will be one of the favourites to win the league this season.

“They’ve got some good players like Jordan James, Mick Nanyn and Stuart Littler who are very experienced.

“It’s going to be a big challenge up there but we’ve been training hard for three months and are looking forward to it.

“It’s an opportunity to see where we’re at compared to some of the better teams in the league.

“We’ve lost both half-backs Jy-Mel Coleman and Charlie Lawrence to long term injuries, as well as a couple of props, but I’m happy with what we’ve got and we’ll know a lot more where we’re at five o’clock on Sunday.”

Swinton, meanwhile, have made big changes both on and off the field, which coach John Duffy says has made them more professional.

“After the big change around in the board and personnel it will be good to just get out there in our first competitive game,” he said.

“Pre-season has been pretty tough for the boys but we’re really pleased at how it’s gone and we’ll continue building through the season.

“Hemel have a really good coach and some key men that we’re going to have to look after including Derrell Olpherts at full-back. They’ve got a big pack as well so we’re going to have to be on the money.”