A DEPLETED Chester Romans team will travel to the Midlands once again this weekend, although this time to face a highflying Sandwell Steelers side.

Sandwell currently find themselves top of the BAFANL NFC 1 South division after recording convincing wins over Doncaster Mustangs, Nottingham Caesars, and Shropshire Revolution, respectively, in each of their first three games.

The Romans, meanwhile, aren’t enjoying the new season quite as much as their upcoming opponents and didn’t enjoy their recent trip to the Midlands region.

Chester collapsed to a 38-6 defeat against a Nottingham side who also won 7-6 in Chester on the opening day of the season.

Despite those two losses leaving Chester Romans as one of three sides in the division without a win, Head Coach, Levi Edwards, says his side won’t hold back against the early pacesetters.

He said: “It’s going to be a challenge, but we’ll attack it like we do with everything else and go into it with full speed, and not let anything hold us back.

“They are a very, very good team, with some talented players who have been playing for a long time under some established coaching staff.

“Our pre-season workout, conditioning and training regime is holding the guys up well so they’re able to respond quite quickly.

“But we’re getting into a slog playing four games in four weeks, and it can get tough – especially in an amateur sport. Everybody has day jobs, and in a game as physical as football, it takes its toll.

Edwards could find himself with less than half of his regular first team squad for the upcoming clash with Sandwell as league organisers experiment with Saturday evening games.

He adds: “It’s going to be a tough one as it is a short turnaround from a Sunday game (against Nottingham) to playing again on a Saturday, which limits a lot of our players’ availability.

“It’s something new that the league is trying this year. Some people love it, but a lot of others are struggling with it.

“(We’ll have a) very, very significant loss of players. It’ll be easier for me to tell you the players that we’re going to have compared to the ones that we’re not going to have.

The unusual fixture day could leave the Romans with as few as 16 players for the crucial league clash against the Steelers, although Edwards hopes more of his team can make the trip.

Jake Cooke and Stuart Nunney, though, are certain to miss out through injury.

While Sandwell welcome Chester Romans on Saturday, May 4, Nottingham head to Lancashire to face the Wolverines a day later in the weekend’s only other fixture.