THE WITTON COLUMN - With media assistant, Paul Harper

CHRISTMAS time is a great time for football.

Festive fixtures are a great tradition in this country, and in the Northern Premier League, Witton Albion have a couple of big derbies to look forward to.

Today, Boxing Day, we face a short trip to Warrington Town before our new year begins on January 1 with a home fixture at Wincham Park against Nantwich Town.

They’re two mouthwatering fixtures, particularly given our current position towards the upper end of the league table.

So there is plenty of excitement gathering ahead of the festive period.

The Yellows will be there or thereabouts in the promotion or play-off race come the end of the season.

Under an excellent manager in Paul Carden, they will certainly be among the challengers, so it’s another excellent test for our team who are hoping to be in a similar position ourselves.

The same can be said of our New Year’s Day opponents.

The Dabbers gave us a difficult afternoon earlier in the season, beating us 3-0 at the Weaver Stadium, so we’ll be looking to put in a better performance on home turf.

Hopefully, we can pick up some important points in these fixtures which, as I said before, will be an excellent examination of our own play-off aspirations.

At this time of the season, with games coming thick and fast, it’s important to have a strong squad, and we’ve bolstered ours with the excellent addition of Danny Mitchley on a one-month loan from Radcliffe FC.

The striker will offer what is a young Albion squad a bit of experience and know how, while he still possesses plenty of ability and has an excellent goalscoring record behind him.

He’s worked with our management team previously at Marine and will provide us with that bit of strength in depth during a busy period while also offering our forward line additional different options for the boss to utilise as he sees fit.

Welcome to Wincham Park, Danny.

It’s an exciting time of the year and an exciting time to be a Witton Albion supporter, as we look to the second half of the season with great optimism after an impressive first half to the campaign.

Finally, all at Albion would like to wish all the Guardian readers, and especially the Wittoners among you, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Optima Tua Age.