by Laurie Newman
Mickleover Sports will host Manchester based side Stalybridge Celtic this Saturday at the Don Amott Arena in their opening game of the 2019/20 season, in the Northern Premier League. Both teams will be hoping for a much better season than last with Stalybridge Celtic and Mickleover Sports finishing in 17th and 19th place, with Sports only surviving the drop by a single point.
That being said, both teams have recruited heavily so this season should be a different kettle of fish for them both as they look to right the wrongs of last season, and prove that they are a force to be reckoned with. In regards to last season, if results are anything to go by then we should be in for a close game with Sports winning 2-1 at home and drawing 0-0 away at Bower Fold. Last year’s results shouldn’t be a massive indicator of how things will end up this Saturday though, as it’s a new season which means a fresh start for Mickleover Sports and Stalybridge Celtic alike.
Both sides have seen a mass of signings come through the door, with Stalybridge Celtic welcoming new goalkeeper Alex Fojtíček who is on loan from Manchester United. Sports have also been busy in the transfer market, strengthening the squad in all positions which could provide manager John McGrath with a selection headache.
Whatever the result is on Saturday, McGrath and the team are clearly building something special. This was shown in their pre-season win against Burton Albion – a game that he will surely mention to motivate his players for Saturdays game. Hopefully the club can achieve their ambitions this season, which is to gain promotion. A win as well as a good performance this Saturday would certainly be the perfect start in addition to being the perfect way to send them well on their way to achieving their goal of promotion.