IT has been a long time since Witton Albion last kicked a matchball, but there is finally light at the end of this long tunnel!

In the last few days, Albion have announced their pre-season friendly dates.

And the good news is that we will be back in action in a couple of weeks’ time.

Unfortunately, unless guidelines and advice changes between now and then, the eight games we have scheduled are likely to be played behind closed doors.

But, hopefully, the matches will get the team ready for the start of the new Northern Premier League season and the situation will allow fans to attend come the beginning of the competitive action.

As media officer at the club, I’m currently looking into a few things surrounding the match coverage for next season, including these pre-season games, so please look out for any updates.

Rest assured, we will do the best we possibly can for our fans who want to follow the team’s progress in the lead up to the new campaign.

There are some interesting fixtures among the eight matches we have announced thus far.

A Southport side containing former Albion defender Adam Anson will kick us off at Wincham Park on Tuesday 11 August before we make the journey to North West Counties outfit Bootle the following Saturday.

We then host EFL side and newly-promoted Crewe Alexandra in a mouthwatering encounter.

It is always great to have high quality opposition to face in pre-season and it will be a tough test for our players.

The following Saturday will see a Northwich derby for the Vijay Anthwal Trophy as take on Northwich Victoria in our annual event before trips to Burscough and Runcorn Linnets.

Home matches against Vauxhall Motors and Welsh Premier team Bala Town follow.

Both of those games will be excellent examinations for our full squad.

It’s something to look forward to after months and months of uncertainty.

It appears that we are a bit clearer now in terms of when we can get playing again, and as I mentioned earlier, hopefully things Covid-19 related continue to improve and we can get back to having supporters at Wincham Park to enjoy the football with us soon.

The full list of Witton Albion’s pre-season fixtures are as follows:

Tuesday 11 August - Southport (H) 7:45pm

Saturday 15 August - Bootle (A) 3:00pm

Tuesday 18 August - Crewe Alexandra (H) 7:45pm

Saturday 22 August - Northwich Victoria (Vijay Anthwal Trophy at Wincham Park) 3:00pm

Tuesday 25 August - Burscough (A) 7:45pm

Saturday 29 August - Runcorn Linnets (A) 3:00pm

Monday 31 August - Vauxhall Motors (H) 3:00pm

Saturday 5 September - Bala Town (H) 3:00pm