Imagine the protagonists of Manchester United’s famed Class of ‘92 attending a pre-season friendly at Colne FC’s XLCR Stadium.
Well that could be the case tomorrow when the Reds host Evo-Stik First Division North outfit Salford City in their third outing ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.
Louis Van Gaal’s new assistant at Old Trafford Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville agreed a deal earlier this year to purchase the Ammies and invest in the club with the aim of eventually progressing to the Football League.
The trio of Giggs, Scholes and England coach Neville were in attendance as City beat Daisy Hill at their opponent’s New Sirs home at the weekend.
“Salford City are the most talked about club going at the moment,” said Colne boss Steve Cunningham. “With the potential of Manchester United legends attending the fixture it could be massive for the club. It’s an unbelievable opportunity and I know Giggs, Scholes and Neville were at their last pre-season game.”
Cunningham added: “It’s also a big occasion for us because it’s our only friendly on home soil. It gives the fans the chance to see our new signings and how the squad is developing.
“Salford have invested quite heavily and local lad Gareth Seddon has joined them. They’ve got aspirations of progressing through the leagues. But we’ve got ambitions of winning the NWC Premier Division this year so it will be a good test for the lads to see where they’re at.
“It’s a meaningful fixture for myself as well because I used to play for Salford City and I won promotion with them. I know a lot of people there and I’m close with chairman Karen Baird, manager Phil Power, his assistant Stuart Rudd and player coach Dave Chadwick.”
The Reds have started their pre-season schedule in emphatic fashion. Strengthened with the additions of Joe Garvin, Danny Boyle, Simon Nangle, Chris Bailey and Luke Thompson, the Reds opened with a 4-0 win at Atherton LR. Bailey, Jason Hart, Andy Tinker and Neil Stansfield were on the scoresheet as the Reds ran riot. Then, midweek, goals from Garvin, Alex Grice and Hart sealed victory over AFC Darwen.
“We’ve had a great pre-season to date,” beamed Cunningham. “We’ve kept two clean sheets and scored seven goals. It’s quite an exciting time for the club at the moment because we’re building a good squad. Joe Garvin has shown his quality so far, he’s a great addition at this level and he scored an absolute worldie against Darwen.”