THE VICS COLUMN - by Pete Tonge

WELL, this Saturday, August 1, sees the return of football for Northwich Vics.

Ok, it is behind closed doors but it marks the start of the pre-season build up to competitive football which is due to start on September 1.

Vics have put in place a pre-season campaign of seven matches with a possibility of one more to come.

The first couple of matches are to build the players match fitness, and no doubt there will be lots of changes throughout the matches.

First up is a behind closed doors match against Bolton Lads Club, a great facility which is where the players will be training when the darker evenings of winter draw in.

Next up are Cheshire League opponents Middlewich Town before a quick trip over to Stockport on August 8 to play Cheadle Heath Nomads who are of course in the league below us of the North West Counties.

Last season saw us struggle here at the same stage when we salvaged a two all draw with a late penalty so hopefully we ll put on a more convincing display this time round.

We then travel up to West Lancashire for two games to face Euxton Villa and then Wyre Villa who are based in Poulton-le-Fylde so that should be a good away day around Blackpool.

Both these teams play in the competitive West Lancashire League, Euxton in the Premier league while Wyre Villa are in Division 1 and have former Vics number 1 Michael Donlan as joint manager .

Pre-season then ramps up as the new season approaches as we then face two higher league clubs in our friends and landlords Witton Albion and finally Atherton Collieries who are both in the Northern premier league Premier Division.

The Atherton match will be our last pre-season fixture, and will see the return of fans favourite and captain of the FA Vase Semi-final team of two seasons ago, the legend that is Brad Cooke.

All in all, a great set of fixtures to prepare the squad for the rigours of the new season which will (hopefully) start on September 1 with an FA Cup clash!

Obviously whether spectators can attend any ( or all) of these matches is still to be decided but we hope to have all the criteria for allowing fans into games in the next few days.

Keep an eye on our website for all the details.

Let’s hope all goes well, and we can look forward to another great season of football no matter who you support!

Up the Vics!

Vics’ Pre-season Schedule:

Saturday, 1 August: Bolton Lads Club (A) 1.00pm. (Strictly no spectators).

Tuesday, 4 August: Middlewich Town (A) 7.15pm

Saturday, 8 August: Cheadle Heath Nomads (A) 3pm.

Tuesday, 11 August: Euxton Villa (A) 7pm

Saturday, 15 August: Wyre Villa (A) 3pm

Saturday, 22 August: Witton Albion (A) 3pm (for the Vijay Anthwal Trophy)

Tuesday, 25 August: Prestwich Heys (H) 7.30pm

Saturday 29 August: Atherton Collieries (H) 3pm.