Bucks’ boss McIntosh excited for Alfreton, Chesterfield and FC United tests

Buxton Manager Martin McIntosh.
Buxton Manager Martin McIntosh.

Buxton chief Martin McIntosh is relishing the club’s pre-season schedule, which gets underway in earnest on Friday night.

The Bucks’ players get back into the routine of match action when they host Alfreton (7.45pm kick-off) on Friday.

The game comes just 69 days after the club rounded off their 2014/15 campaign with a 1-1 draw against Barwell at home.

Since then, McIntosh has overseen minor changes to his squad, with the likes of Ash Palmer and Neil Stevens departing the club but Ash Worsfold one of those to commit his future to the Silverlands.

The majority of last season’s roster, which posted a 10th-placed finish in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, have also agreed terms for the new campaign with most likely to be unveiled prior to the visit of Nicky Law’s National League North side.

In terms of build-up, McIntosh’s side will follow the Alfreton clash with another high-profile home friendly.

The Bucks are scheduled to host League One side Chesterfield on Friday, July 10.

The game will be the first time new Spireites’ manager Dean Saunders will take charge of his team.

McIntosh says he was delighted that his adversary from the Proact was willing to fetch a team to the Silverlands.

The move follows a similar agreement to last summer, when then-manager Paul Cook brought a strong squad in early July, with a 1-1 draw the outcome that day.

McIntosh said: “It will obviously be Dean’s first match when they come here.

“They’ll bring the first team and players like Sylvan Ebanks-Blake could be on show, so it could get a healthy crowd.

“Obviously they’ll have some new players on display and their supporters, I’m sure, will want to come to Buxton and see the players for the first time, much like they did last year.

“I’ve played against Dean many times, so he was happy to bring a team here like Paul Cook did last year.”

Other notable dates in the Bucks’ pre-season calendar include a visit from last year’s champions FC United of Manchester (July 18) as well as a clash against a Sheffield United XI side (August 5).

The Bucks will then round off their pre-season with an appetising home game against Glossop North End.

North End’s promotion last year means they now operate just one level below the Bucks and they are sure to bring a healthy following for the final friendly clash for both teams before they embark upon their respective campaigns.

McIntosh said: “I’m looking forward to getting started.

“We’ve managed to get some really good and exciting fixtures for pre-season.

“I always enjoy games against FC United of Manchester and I’m sure their fans enjoy coming to Buxton.”

Sandwiched right in the middle of the first team’s pre-season schedule is of course the much-anticipated Liverpool Legends game.

Although the majority of the Bucks’ squad will not be involved, McIntosh is looking forward to the occasion (July 19) and says he may even pull on the shirt himself - injury permitting!

He added: “I’d like to play in the game because it should be an excellent day for the club.”