Soule sets sights on Beatt-ing Stanley

James Beattie in action for Sheffield United.
James Beattie in action for Sheffield United.

New Mills manager Roy Soule says he is looking forward to pitting his wits against former England striker James Beattie in pre-season.

Beattie will bring his Accrington Stanley side to Church Lane on Tuesday July 15 in what will be the first of six home friendlies for the Millers, all against higher opposition.

Beattie represented Southampton, Everton and Stoke City during his playing career, scoring 90 Premier League goals and winning five England caps along the way.

Millers boss Soule says he is thankful to the Stanley boss for agreeing to the fixture and believes it will be a good test for his players.

He said: “I always wanted a hard pre-season so I’m delighted James Beattie has agreed to bring a strong team down.

“It will be interesting to see how my players handle themselves against professionals.

“The buzz from the end of last season has continued into pre-season training, which is great and I’m confident this will be maintained into the new season.”

Beattie, aged 36, guided Stanley to a 15th-placed finish in League Two last season in what was his debut campaign as a manager.

Meanwhile, the Millers have confirmed their full list of friendlies for pre-season.

They kick-off against Maine Road on Saturday July 12 at a neutral ground.

The game will be played at Wright Robinson College, Abbey Hey Lane, Gorton, Manchester M18 8RL.

Then comes the visit of Accrington three days later before the Millers hit the road to Bay Athletic on Saturday July 19.

They then have four home games in the space of 12 days with the visit of Curzon Ashton, VCD Athletic, Ashton United and Trafford.

The Millers’ pre-season concludes on Wednesday August 13 with a visit from Sheffield United’s under-21/development side.

The new league season starts on Saturday August 16.