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Preview of Friendlies 2011 - Updated 11 June

The full list of friendlies, with full information about the games can be found here.

What’s exciting about who we are playing?

Airbus UK Broughton FC (Sat 9 July)
This season’s Euro away in Wales. It might be only just in Wales but it’s a chance for some fans to plan a weekend away and for the team, it will be an opportunity to test themselves against Welsh Premier League opposition.

Chester FC (Sat 16 July)
We’re honoured to have been asked to play for the Supporters Direct Cup again and it seems very fitting to be competing for that famous trophy on the sixth anniversary of FC United’s first ever game. Last season, we played a hastily arranged friendly against Chester, who were then just starting out on the fans-owned journey. They’ve come on leaps and bounds, winning promotion to the Northern Premier League’s top division at the first opportunity. They’ll be stronger again next season, bolstered by the signing of Jerome Wright.

Winsford United v FCXI (Tue 19 July)
Winsford are fondly remembered as one of our first rivals when we were in the North West Counties League and 4,328 people were there on the New Year’s Holiday in 2006 to see one of the toughest games we had at Gigg Lane that season. Sadly, like so many clubs at that time, Winsford had to move their home game to a larger venue, so this friendly will give us a chance to visit one of the grounds we missed along the way.

Bury FC (Sat 23 July)
As we enter our seventh season of ground sharing at Bury FC’s Gigg Lane, a Saturday friendly as the away team against our newly promoted landlords should be a great occasion and a good chance to show the friendly relationship between our two clubs. Playing against a League One club will be a very tough game, a bit like playing Rochdale in the FA Cup perhaps?

Curzon Ashton (Tue 26 July)
Another local derby against old friends, this game will allow Mike Norton to return to play against the club where he spent many seasons. It also gives us a chance to say thanks to Curzon Ashton for letting us sign him and more generously for letting him join us in Hamburg for the St Pauli game last year.

New Mills v FCXI (Thu 28 July)
Last pre-season we played a match against New Mills that was arranged at the last minute, so this season they have invited us back as part of the celebrations for their 125th anniversary. Like many other clubs, we were unable to play at New Mills’s own ground when we met in the NWCFL, so we hope a bumper crowd will be attracted to this game, which also gives us the opportunity to welcome newly promoted New Mills into the NPL.

Leek Town (Sat 30 July)
The venue for this game, Harrison Park, will be familiar to most FC United fans as the place where we played our first ever league game against Leek Town’s tenants, Leek CSOB. We could only dream of the day when we’d climb the leagues far enough to meet the higher placed Leek club in the Northern Premier League. Unfortunately, we then missed out, because we were promoted as they were relegated. Leek Town will be bouyed by the return of one of their legends, Neil Baker, as their new manager, so it promises to be a great game.

Clitheroe v FCXI (Thur 4 Aug - note change of date)
Clitheroe’s ground holds special memories, because due to results elsewhere, we clinched the League when we played a friendly against them on Good Friday during our first season, sparking great celebrations. They’ve remained one of the friendliest clubs to FC United and donated a large sum to our Development Fund when we had to replay a game at their ground following a floodlight failure.

Stalybridge Celtic (Sat 6 Aug)
Stalybridge’s ground has become our second home over the last couple of seasons, because they’ve allowed us to use Bower Fold on several occasions when Gigg Lane was unavailable. We’ve had some good games against this Conference North team too, including a memorable charity friendly in our first pre-season and a couple of FA Cup fixtures where we won the replay.

Trafford (Tue 9 Aug)
It’s almost becoming a tradition to play this local friendly in the last midweek before the season starts. Trafford have many links to FC United and there are usually some of our ex-players in their team, along with a familiar face on their bench, because they are led by Garry Vaughan, who used to be the player-coach in our Reserves.

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First Posted ~ 00:43 Sat 11 Jun 2011
News ID ~ 3609
Last Updated ~ 00:43 Sat 11 Jun 2011