Nottingham Head Coach Neil Fowkes says Sundays opponents, Ampthill, have improved on and off the field since their arrival to the Greene King IPA Championship in 2019.

Ampthill have also strengthened their squad this season with the signing of former Green and Whites players Llewelyn Jones and Jamie Jack.

“For me, Ampthill have come a long way from the team that got promoted last year,” said Fowkes. “They’re a physical side that will play on top of you. They will keep the ball when they need to and, like any good team, they will know when to transfer the pressure.

“They really have got a forward pack that like to carry the ball so we need to front up there and make sure we make our tackles and be really aggressive to make sure they can’t get on the front foot.”

Many clubs have adopted a semi-professional model going in to the shortened 2020-21 season, with Nottingham and Ampthill being two of those clubs. Fowkes is aware that Ampthill will aim to be the best of the semi-professional clubs.

He said: “It’s great to see how Ampthill have developed into the Championship from afar. You can see they have come a long way. As semi-professional teams go in the Championship, they are going to be right up there and wanting to be one of the best.

“They ran Doncaster, a fully-professional squad, really close in the first game. We are expecting a handful and expecting to learn a lot about our guys on the weekend and we will see where we are come three o’clock.”