A PACKED weekend of sport awaits the region with the new football season set to start, the cricket coming to a close, and some of the area’s minor teams in action.
Observer sports editor Shaun Reynolds takes a brief look at the sporting action ahead in the midlands this weekend.
1. Coventry City vs Notts County – Saturday, August 5, kick-off 3pm.
An obvious choice. The Sky Blues kick-start their League Two campaign at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday afternoon with a home tie against Notts County.
Mark Robins will be hoping his side can justify their positions as favourites for Saturday’s game to make the perfect three-point start.
Best priced 6/5 to win, City will be looking to the likes of new signings Marc McNulty and Rod McDonald – who could make their competitive debuts – while familiar faces including Jordan Willis, Jodi Jones and Stuart Beavon are also likely to feature.
2. Leamington FC vs Tamworth – Tuesday, August 8, kick-off 7.45pm.
It’s what all Leamington FC fans have been waiting for. The start of life in the Vanarama National League North.
A positive pre-season has left Brakes boss Paul Holleran in a positive mood as his side take on Gainsborough this Saturday, August 5, before a home tie against Tamworth on Tuesday night.
Expect a large and lively crowd as Brakes look to make an ideal start to what is sure to be a fascinating season ahead.
3. Berkswell vs Knowle and Dorridge – Saturday, August 5, midday.
A top of the table clash in the Birmingham Cricket Premier League sees Berkswell entertain Knowle and Dorridge.
The result of the game is likely to play its part in the outcome of who wins the league title this season.
Reigning champions Berkswell warmed up for Saturday’s clash with a thumping – and crucial – win over West Brom last Saturday while K&D will be aiming to continue their hot form.
Entry to the game at Meeting House Lane – which features multiple ex-professional players – is free.
4. The British Showjumping Championships, Tuesday, August 8, until Sunday, August 13.
The National Agricultural and Exhibition Centre in Stoneleigh hosts the annual British Showjumping Championships next week with a host of different events taking place throughout the week.
Various Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) qualifiers will take place as some of the country’s top horses and riders descend on the region to compete in a series of challenging tasks.
Entry to the event is free, though car parking is charged at just £5 per car.
5. Coventry United vs Rugby Town FC – Saturday, August 5, kick-off 3pm.
Football in the city centre is back as Coventry United start their 2017/18 campaign at their new home, the Butts Park Arena.
The club, formed when the Sky Blues started playing home games in Northampton, experienced successive promotions in their opening few years – but Saturday brings about FA Cup action.
United will feature a handful of former Rugby Town players while Dave Stringer’s men will be looking to make a solid start after being relegated to the fifth tier of the football league following a poor 2016/17 campaign.