Albion's preparations hit after Worcester pull out of fixture
PLYMOUTH Albion's preparations for the 2013/14 Championship campaign have been hit after Worcester pulled out of visiting Brickfields tomorrow night.
The Premiership club were due to send their development side, the Cavaliers, down to Devon.
Former Albion player Mark Hewitt, now Worcester's Academy manager, had been due to look after their team.
But Worcester contacted Albion yesterday afternoon to say they could not fulfil the fixture after suffering a high number of injuries in the week.
NEW FROM SYMPLY - a wet dog food in a tray freshly steamed with real meat and veg you can see minimum of 68% meat content up to 72% in the adult trays.
Terms: Come and try tray at introductory price of £1
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
Albion had named their team, ordered in food and arranged for staff to work tomorrow.
As The Herald went to print they were still trying to arrange a replacement fixture.
Two National One sides have expressed interest but the short time-scale makes it difficult.
Club CEO Debbie Fisher made no attempt to hide Albion's frustration at Worcester's late call-off.
"We are hugely disappointed that Worcester did not raise their concerns that they might be struggling to field a team until yesterday," said Fisher.
"It would have been good had they shared those concerns with us earlier in the week."
Worcester had been due to use a few Coventry players, but they still say they cannot field a side.
The Warriors' chief executive Charles Cameron said: "While we are disappointed that we cannot fulfil this fixture, our main focus must be on ensuring the squad are as prepared as they can be for the start of the forthcoming Premiership campaign."
Albion head coach James Shanahan had been looking forward to seeing his players test themselves against Premiership players.
Shanahan said: "I'm gutted, frustrated, disappointed and angry.
"It is a real mixture of emotions.
"We were all geared up for the game.
"We had been planning pre-season for a while.
"To have a game postponed so late is gutting.
"Worcester have to look after their players. I understand that. I'd be the same if it was Albion.
"But it is frustrating because unless we can get a game for Friday then we would not have a home match until September 22 and that's not great for the club."
Shanahan added: "We are trying to get a replacement fixture, but it is late in the day to try and get a team down. We have to offer them accommadation.
"The teams we have been talking to are National One sides, so they are part-time, and players have to try and get time off to come down."
Shanahan held a pre-match media interview with The Herald yesterday before the Worcester game was called off.
He admitted it was important for his side to test themselves against Premiership players.
Shanahan had seen Albion beat Welsh side Aberavon 25-15 and Exmouth 55-14 last weekend and was looking forward to a step up in standard, describing the Worcester match as a 'huge test'.
Now the game has been called off, Shanahan has to have a re-think about what team he will field against Redruth on Sunday, unless Albion can find late opponents to fill tomorrow's void.
Shanahan had initially named two separate sides, one to play Worcester and one to face Redruth.
"I wanted to name two quality sides, so everyone had the chance to play in the structures," said Shanahan.
"We want to give everyone a chance to get some rugby under their belt and put their hand up for the Gloucester game (on August 30)."
If Albion can't find a match for tomorrow, then the team that was due to face Worcester will line up against Redruth.
The rest of the squad will miss out on a game.
KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH www.plymouthherald.co.uk/sport TO FIND OUT IF ALBION ARE ABLE TO FIND NEW OPPONENTS FOR TOMORROW NIGHT