Preview: Hurrah! It’s back! Finally, we can make a trip to Gigg Lane for the first pre-season game of an eagerly expected season. Expectations for the new season are on the rise and probably the highest they’ve been for many a year and they will only increase as pre-season gets under way in earnest with a tough test against a side that has been recently relegated from the Premier League.
Lee Clark could not have arranged a better first game. New faces will be on the pitch at Gigg Lane in abundance. A new way of playing may be seen with an attacking flair to the side that hasn’t been seen for many a year. The squad now looks packed with power, pace, experience and, probably more than anything, quality.
Although it is the first game of an eagerly expected season, any result from the game will, of course, be totally meaningless. At this stage of pre-season it’s all about getting minutes into legs, getting used to playing a competitive game again, getting used to new teammates, new shapes, a new squad and, not forgetting, a new pitch.
The surface at Gigg Lane was completely removed and re-seeded and it’s now evident that the work, carried out over the last couple of summers, is starting to bear fruit. A completely flat surface, a deep filled root system and perfectly working drains the hallowed ground, now sporting a rich and thick carpet of newly mowed grass, has a surface that looks as good as it did in the days of the legendary Tommy Marshall.
The game itself will hardly be compared to what we can expect on 5th August. The side that starts the game against Walsall will, most likely, be completely different to the side we see on Friday evening and, no doubt, as we face Sunderland again, in the Carabao Cup, on 10th August, the two games will be completely different in both the style and passion shown. The only tactics in use on Friday evening will be – don’t get injured!
Will this be the usual pre-season fare with lots of ‘trialist’s’, lots of substitutions throughout the game, players coming off and then coming back on again together with plenty of breaks for fluids, or chats with coaching staff – yes, probably but it will also be the first opportunity for fans of the Black Cats to see their side managed by Simon Grayson and we hope that all the Sunderland fans making their way down to Gigg Lane have a safe trip.
Admission Prices: Click here for full details
Season Tickets: Plenty of time to get your early bird phase two season ticket – click here for full details
Programmes: A “three games in one” pre-season, 32-page match programme, costing £2.00, will be available in and around the ground.
Social Club: Click here for full details
Coverage: Full match commentary will be available on iFollow FREE OF CHARGE. Maurice Dickson and Brian Rigby will be on air from around 7:15 pm for the game and we'll also have the full game covered via our official Twitter Account (@buryfcofficial) with team news going live just as soon as we receive it, hopefully, around 6:30 pm.
Video interviews with the manager and key players from the game will be live on iFollow Bury on Friday evening. Please note that, as this is a pre-season game, match highlights will NOT be available as the game is not covered by our usual broadcast partners.
Enjoy the game!