Pre-season campaign confirmed

BARELY more than a month into the close season, Buxton FC’s supporters can begin to look forward to the 2011/12 campaign with the announcement of the club’s programme of pre-season friendlies.

The action starts at the Silverlands on Saturday July 9 with the visit of Macclesfield Town to contest the Keith Alexander Memorial Trophy.

The matter has particular poignancy this time after the tragic death last January of the Cheshire club’s player Richard Butcher, who had scored in last summer’s game.

Ten days later, Altrincham, newly relegated from the top flight of non-league soccer, are visitors to the Silverlands on Tuesday July 19, and the following Saturday (July 23) the Bucks will entertain Stockport County, who have just lost their Football League membership after more than a century.

After that, the newly-reformed under-19 side will take to the field for the first time at the Silverlands on Tuesday July 26 in a most attractive fixture. Sheffield United, who recently contested the FA Youth Cup final against Manchester United, will be the visitors.

Two days later, on Thursday July 28, Buxton’s High Peak Cup semi-final is an away tie at Chapel Town, with the final scheduled for Wednesday August 3, though for the first time the venue may not be the Silverlands.

The previous evening, the Bucks will travel to take on Sheffield FC and it is anticipated that under-19 players will be involved in this busy period of the programme, which rounds off with a visit to Leek Town on Saturday August 6.

Buxton’s Evo-Stik League campaign kicks-off on Saturday August 13.

Meanwhile, versatile Steve Ridley has now re-signed to begin his fourth Silverlands season. He follows Kieran Lugsden, Grant Black, Scott Maxfield and Michael Towey, but new signings have yet to be made.