The Bucks are back: First friendly sees Darlo return

Buxton and Darlington, who met on the opening day of last season, will do battle again on Saturday.
Buxton and Darlington, who met on the opening day of last season, will do battle again on Saturday.

Buxton will return to action this weekend as they host their first pre-season friendly of the summer.

Darlington 1883, who were promoted from the Evo-Stik Premier Division last season as champions, will be visiting the Silverlands as part of the deal which saw striker Liam Hardy make the move from Buxton to the north-east back in February.

It’s an early start to pre-season for the Bucks, whose first league game won’t be until Saturday, August 13, but having welcomed his players back for training this week, manager Martin McIntosh is looking forward to getting the games underway.

He said: “We’ve got quite a drawn out schedule of games given the season doesn’t start until mid-August, but that will give us plenty of time to look at the players and also assess any trialists too.

“We’ve not seen some of the trialists at all before so we’ll want to take a look at them in training before picking them for a game, but we’ll properly assess their pedigree and give them a fair opportunity.

“We’ve made some good signings so far and any more we make must be better than what we’ve already got, so I’m not panicking at all as we’ve got a good few games to put players into and I won’t close the door on anybody.”

Following Saturday’s game, Crewe Alexandra are expected to bring their first team squad to Buxton on Friday, July 8, Steve Davis’s men having been relegated to League Two last season.

Four days later, National League side Macclesfield Town come to the Silverlands to compete for the Keith Alexander Memorial Trophy, currently held by Buxton after a 4-3 home win two years ago and a match played in memory of the former Macclesfield boss who died in 2010.

A free date has been created after the friendly with Halifax Town was cancelled on July 19, with McIntosh hoping to arrange a replacement fixture in the coming days.

Nigel Clough has then declared he will bring a full-strength Burton Albion squad to Buxton on Wednesday, July 27 ahead of the club’s first season in the SkyBet Championship, before three days later Danny Wilson and Chesterfield will be the visitors for a 3pm start.

Two games against non-league sides will round off proceedings, with Evo-Stik Division One South side Leek Town the hosts on Tuesday, August 2 and then newly-promoted Division One North outfit Glossop North End on Saturday, August 6.

The Evo-Stik Premier Division fixtures will be announced on Friday, July 15, with the draws for the opening rounds of the FA Cup and FA Trophy being made on July 8.

Meanwhile, trials are being held for youngsters to try and earn a spot in the Buxton FC development squad.

Coach Rick Adrio and his assistant Craig Mills have been joined by goalkeeping coach Jonathan Duckworth, and with one open trial day already having taken place, another is scheduled for this Saturday between 1pm and 3pm at Chapel Leisure Centre in Chapel-en-le-Frith.

Players will need suitable footwear for grass and 3G footwear. Players can confirm attendance by e-mail to rick@buxtonfc.co.uk or 07955 512778.