Following weeks of intense speculation, Atherton Collieries are pleased to confirm the details of our annual pre-season ‘Jolly Boys’ outing. On the 11th August, we will be crossing the Lancashire-Yorkshire divide to visit Beechnut Lane, home of Pontefract Collieries.
To add an extra layer of competition to what will be the final match of our pre-season campaign, it has been agreed between the two clubs that the fixture will be an inaugural contest for ‘the Colliery Cup’, celebrating our shared roots as football clubs whilst also adding an extra edge to an already competitive clash between Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Pontefract enjoyed an incredibly successful 2017-18 Northern Counties East campaign, winning the title with an incredible 102 points, and will be playing in the Northern Premier League First Division East next season, counterpart to our own First Division West. Like ourselves, this promotion for Pontefract comes soon after a promotion from Step 6, as Ponte were promoted to the NCEL Premier Division in the same season as our own promotion from the North West Counties First Division.
Atherton manager Michael Clegg spoke on the announcement, saying:
“Pontefract had a really good season last year, so it will be a good footballing test for both sides. We always like to use the ‘Jolly Boys’ fixture as an opportunity for some club and team bonding, and after the game the plan will be to stay up there for a few hours, have a few beers and integrate the new lads into the squad whilst mixing with the fans also.”
“It’s been a success each year, and every year it seems to get better, it’s always a day of preseason we look forward to!”
Coach and travel details will be confirmed in due course, along with some more exciting news regarding friendlies, new signings and the confirmation of our new captain for the 2018-19 season.
Watch this space.
More friendlies are to be confirmed, but our current pre-season schedule is as follows:
Friday 13th July – Atherton Collieries v Chipstead (19:00)
Tuesday 17th July – Charnock Richard v Atherton Collieries (19:45)
Tuesday 24th July – Euxton Villa v Atherton Collieries (19:00)
Saturday 28th July – Wythenshawe Town v Atherton Collieries (15:00)
Monday 30th July – Daisy Hill v Atherton Collieries (19:45)
Tuesday 7th August – Atherton Collieries v Witton Albion (19:45)
Saturday 11th August – Pontefract Collieries v Atherton Collieries (15:00) – The Colliery Cup
Article: Rob Clarke