(Above, manager Ian Chandler looks ahead to the new season)
Bishop Auckland manager, Ian Chandler, has earmarked his squad for the upcoming 2019-20 Ebac Northern League campaign, blending in a mix of youth and experience.
New arrivals to the squad see that of Leon Carling, Denver Morris and James Fairley bring in the experience, the former of the trio shoring up the defence whilst the arrivals of Jamie Tumilty and Jay McLean bring a youthfulness up front.
Tumilty and McLean, alongside Chris Winn, and the attacking midfielders, will provide continued support for captain, and last seasons’ top scorer, Andrew Johnson.
Departures from the side who finished third last season have been something of a high profile nature, notably the triumvirate of Kieran Galbraith, Lewis Gibbons and Arran Wearmouth, alongside several others but the four-time FA Vase winner has set his goals for the new season.
“Last year was almost the perfect season following on from a very poor 2017/18 campaign,” began Ian.
“We had built a new squad of young, hungry lads, with a sprinkling of older members, and that seemed to have worked very well.
“The new season will see us building another new squad with several players having left, all of whom contributed to last season so will be a miss; that said we welcome on board some rather familiar faces for myself and Brian (Rowe).
“In come Denver Morris, James Fairley, Leon Carling and Nathan Lawrence, also coming up from our under 23s will be Jordan Lee, and Aidan Hart is back from long-term injury.
“Expectations are now extremely high (after finishing third last season), but, in simple terms, I always try and do better than the previous year, that said the same as last season will mean promotion (the top three sides gain automatic promotion at the end of the upcoming campaign) and another successful season.
“’I do see a lot of teams spending big money and bringing in a number of high profile players, or should that be players from a higher leagues, who maybe won’t appreciate the level of the Northern League.
“Regardless of who we play against, we will compete and see how things go throughout the season.”
(Nicky Liversedge has signed on for the new campaign)
BISHOP AUCKLAND SQUAD 2019/20 CAMPAIGN
Leon Carling, James Fairley, Kyle Fryatt, Aiden Hart, Michael Hoganson, Andrew Johnson, Thomas Langan, Nathan Lawrence, Jordan Lee, Nicholas Liversedge, Jamie Marshall, Jay Mclean, Denver Morris, Callum Munro, Darren Richardson, Ryan Robinson, Connor Short, Jamie Tumilty, Christopher Winn
(Leon Carling returns to the club for a second spell)
Throughout pre-season the Two Blues have lined up ten, primarily local, friendly matches which will see Darlington (July 15), Middlesbrough U23s (July 20), and Sunderland U23s (August 1) bring sides to Heritage Park for ‘prestige’ friendlies as well as a local fundraiser against old rivals Willington (July 18).
Billed as being ‘A fundraiser for Richard,’ the two sides will meet to raise funds towards neuro-rehabilitation of former Bishops, current Willington Chairman, Richard Tremewan, who suffered a left haemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain), affecting one side of his body, earlier this year.
Looking ahead to the new season Bishops Chairman, Steve Coulthard, added: “We’re really looking forward to this season with a number of new players arriving and contending for slots in the team on top of those staying so there is a real competition for places.
“Ian (Chandler) inherited a few players at the beginning of last season but this time around he’s freshened the squad up with players of his own choice and, after a good season last season, where we finished third, we are hoping we can go one better and gain promotion.”
Further additions have also been made behind-the-scenes with the arrival late last season of the club’s Head of Media, Peter Mann, and the summer appointment of Dean Maynard, who’ll provide match day video coverage.
Bishop Auckland open the new season on August 3 when they make the trip to The Frenchfield Stadium, home of Cumbrian outfit, Penrith.
Early-bird season tickets are still available, until July 13, from HERE
Pre-season friendlies information is HERE
AND, as well as the usual place on the website, you can see the fixtures for the new season HERE