02 Aug 2019 in News
99 days since the end of the 2018/19 season, competitive football returns to the Tameside Stadium as Curzon Ashton host Bradford (Park Avenue) in the first match of the new campaign.
Excitement is high after a busy summer that saw manager Mark Bradshaw stamp his authority on the team by bringing in 12 new players in a remarkable squad turnover.
Josh Askew (on loan from Salford City), Andy Halls, Matt Regan, Moussa Samassa, Liam Davies, Robbie Evans, Jack Banister, Brad Lynch, Isaac Sinclair, Callum Saunders and Michael Elstone have all arrived for the Nash’s fifth season in the National League North.
Nicky Wroe completes the list of new signings and the 33-year-old former Barnsley, Shrewsbury Town and Preston North End midfielder was this week named as the new club captain.
Several players from last year’s quadruple winning Under 18 squad have also been promoted to the first team meaning competition for places in Saturday’s starting XI will be very heavy.
Consistency is the keyword for the Nash this term. A run of six wins from seven in January and February briefly propelled the Nash up the table, but they were bookended by a poor start and finish to the season and ended the season only two places – but 14 points – above the relegation zone.
Avenue has gone through a summer transformation of their own and is now under the management of former Bradford City player Garry Thompson who took over from Mark Bower in May.
They are aiming to build on last season’s 7th placed finish which earned them the final spot in the play-offs. A 1-0 loss to Spennymoor Town eliminated them at the first hurdle but it nonetheless equated to a successful campaign for the West Yorkshiremen.
The two sides cancelled each other out in both of their meetings last year, drawing 1-1 at the Tameside in November and then shared two goals apiece at Horsfall Stadium in March.
The opening day of the season represents somewhat of a step into the unknown for both teams so can they be separated and a winner emerge? We hope to see you at the Tameside on Saturday afternoon to show your support for Mark and the boys ahead of a big season!