On Saturday, our final pre-season friendly sees us hosting former Football League side Workington AFC. Formed in 1888, The Reds joined the league in 1951, only to be replaced by Wimbledon in 1977. Their early league years saw them managed by Bill Shankly and hosting the Busby Babes in the FA Cup in front of 21,000 people. Managing the club in the mid-60s was Keith Burkinshaw who went on to manage Spurs and Sporting Lisbon.
In 1998, the club dropped into the North West Counties for the first time but managed to bounce back to the Northern Premier League at the first time of asking, defeating ourselves twice along the way with a team featuring future Premier League striker Grant Holt amongst others. Colls that season finished a lowly 19th out of 21, 19 points clear of relegated Holker Old Boys in bottom position.
Workington rose from the NPL into the Conference North in 2007 and twice qualified for the play-offs, most recently in 2010. However, we now find the club in the Northern Premier League Division One North West following relegation last season. With the resignation of manager Lee Andrews, the reigns have been taken over by Danny Grainger. Fresh from hanging up his boots after a sterling career in Scotland, the highlight of which being winning the 2012 Scottish Cup with Hearts, Grainger finished his career with a 5 year spell at Carlisle. The Cumbrian has now set his sights on taking The Reds back to the Premier Division.
For the Colls, it was back to winning ways away at Trafford on Tuesday, the team taking the field may well reflect how Micheal Clegg opts to line up for our first ever game in the Northern Premier League Premier Division away at Ashton United next Saturday!
Skuna Stadium (M46 9EY)
10th August, 15:00
£5 adults, £3 concessions