THE new league season may be a month away but Prestwich Heys are set to get one of their biggest crowds of the campaign when they entertain neighbours Prestwich FC at Sandgate Road in the Kenyon Cup next Tuesday night (7pm).
When the draw for the group stages of the competition was made in May, the match between the town’s premier football teams immediately took the eye, with both sides looking to gain local bragging rights as well as progressing towards a JD Stadium final next spring.
Heys sit a couple of rungs higher the football pyramid than Prestwich but manager Jon Lyons knows that will count for nothing against a side that swept all before them in the Lancashire Amateur League last season.
The cricket club-based side, who play at Heys’ former Grimshaws ground on Heys Road, go into this campaign on the back of a fantastic season in which they won the Lancashire Amateur Cup, Lancashire Amateur League and the Lancashire Amateur League Cup and will be looking to add Heys’ scalp to that impressive list.
Meanwhile, Heys will begin their FBT Manchester League Premier Division season at home to Stockport Georgians on August 16.
It forms part of a tough start for Lyons’ team with three of their opening four games coming against sides who challenged for the title last season.
Georgians came sixth last time but, like Heys, were in with a chance of being crowned champions up to the penultimate Saturday of the campaign.
Seven days later Heys, who came fourth, will travel to Dukinfield Town who came fifth last season.
Heys then travel to last year’s First Division Champions Chapel Town on August 30.
Lyons’s team then return to Sandgate Road on September 6 to face another of last year’s title challengers, Royton Town, who led the table for much of campaign before ending third.
Heys face champions Hindsford on December 13 at Sandgate Road with the return set for 14th February.
The first local derby of the season sees Heys travel to newly-promoted Elton Vale on October 11, while the first meeting with Walshaw Sports is at Sandgate Road on November 15.
Heys have rearranged the Adie Moran Day for Sunday, August 10. The annual event, in memory of their former player, manager and chairman was postponed when it was originally scheduled in May due to adverse weather.
Full details will be confirmed in due course.