Bamber Bridge ready to be Preston North End's first pre-season opponents this weekend

Bamber Bridge provide the first test of pre-season for Preston North End on Saturday and that will be a proud moment for Joey Collins.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 12:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th July 2019, 1:02 pm
Bamber Bridge manager Joey Collins (right) with coach and skipper Matt Lawlor in the red bib Picture: Ruth Hornby

The clash at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium (3pm) sees Collins in charge of Brig for the first time since his appointment at the end of April.

For the final month of last season Collins was in joint caretaker charge with Matt Lawlor, the pair guiding Brig to safety in the NPL Premier Division.

Collins got the job outright at the end of the season, with Lawlor taking-up a coaching role as well as continuing as the club’s skipper.

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Preston North End make their annual visit to Bamber Bridge on Saturday

PNE’s visit will attract a big crowd and Collins is delighted to be involved.

“It’s really exciting and this game is always an important one for us,” said Collins.

“We get plenty of people coming through the gate and hopefully they get to see a good game of football.

“Preston are a fantastic club to have here and we are looking forward to a great day.”

Some of the Bamber Bridge squad in pre-season training at Cadley FC Picture: Ruth Hornby

Brig are in the early stages of pre-season training, Collins having been putting the squad through their paces at Cadley FC’s pitches in Fulwood during the past week.

“Cadley have been brilliant with us, we have used the pitches they have near to Sherwood Way and the facilities are brilliant,” said Collins.

“I’d like to thank Dave Burrows at Cadley for setting this up for us, they are a superb junior club.

“During the season we train on 4G at Preston's College but we want to play on grass at the moment.

“On the playing front, we’ve brought four players in and have a couple of lads coming back from long-term injuries.

"For the Preston game we've got two or three of the boys missing because of prior arrangements but it will be a good chance to play against a good side.

“We want a better season, we had a relegation scrap last time which Matt Lawlor and myself got us through.

"It was disappointing to slip down towards the bottom of the table and we think we are capable of much better.

“Matt stays as skipper and will do the coaching – he’s just started this week at Fleetwood Town's academy as development phase coach so he’s excited about that."

Admission on Saturday is £10 adults and £5 concessions, while Under-16s are free when accompanied by an adult.