Burscough beckons as reserves kick off pre-season
Posted by nickogs20 on July 11, 2008
The season starts here then. Near enough two months on from the Manchester Senior Cup victory that brought last season to a successful close, the reserves are set to take to the field for the first time in a new campaign as the all-new management team of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Warren Joyce take their charges to Burscough for the first in a triple-header of Saturday friendlies designed to get the team into their stride ahead of the Lancashire Senior Cup Final against Liverpool at the end of the month.
The team news… well, there isn’t any – your guess is as good as mine. Even taking into account injuries and unavailability of players due to first-team or international commitments, there is a large pool of players to choose from and a new duo in charge whose tactical ideas we have no real idea about. What we can say is that it looks likely there’ll be a relative novice in goal – Ben Amos and Gary Woods are in Aberdeen with the first team, Ron-Robert Zieler is with Germany’s U19’s ahead of the European Championships and Tom Heaton has gone out on loan. Ben Foster is also presumably unavailable for some reason, as he’d surely travel with the first team to Scotland were he able to be called upon. Conor Devlin is likely to be the one between the sticks, although that’s purely speculation on my part.
You can rule Messrs Evans (J), Simpson, Hewson, Martin, Gibson, Eagles and Campbell out too (all Aberdeen-bound), while one definite absentee through injury will be Danny Welbeck (more on that later). Hopefully we’ll get our first glimpse of Brazilian full-back twins Fábio and Rafael in the red shirt at some point, although a sighting of the other recent foreign arrival Davide Petrucci would seem unlikely.
So our opponents – what of them? Burscough FC play their football in the Blue Square North, and the Linnets’ home ground Victoria Park holds 2500. They’ve made quite a name for themselves in the cups this decade, winning the 2003 FA Trophy and narrowly missing out on a Third Round FA Cup tie with United in 2006 (they lost to Burton Albion in round 2) having already knocked out league side Gillingham.
The town of Burscough is in West Lancashire, not far from Ormskirk and Southport, and within easy travelling distance of any United fans in the Manchester area who fancy going along to watch. Anyone travelling by car should take note of the following instructions:
Turn off M6 at Junction 27, follow signs for Parbold A5209, carry on over Parbold Hill, down through Newburgh, then into Burscough, passing Briars Hall Hotel on the left. Turn right at the second mini-roundabout into Junction Lane (signposted Burscough/Martin Mere) and carry on over Burscough Junction station to traffic lights at A59. Turn right, go over Canal Bridge into Burscough Village and take second left just after pedestrian lights into Mart Lane to ground.
The town is also served by two train stations, Burscough Bridge (5 minutes from Victoria Park on the Manchester-Wigan-Southport line) and Burscough Junction (10 minutes away on the Ormskirk-Preston line). Direct trains leave Manchester Oxford Road at 26 minutes past every hour and take roughly fifty minutes.
Ticket prices are £9 adults and £5 children, although anyone wanting to attend a Q&A with United legend Bryan Robson beforehand can do so for an extra £6 – see here for details. All being well we’ll have a full match report and pictures from tomorrow’s game up at some point in the evening, as well as news of how the youngsters on first-team duty did against Aberdeen.