We’re not quite back yet, but the big kick-off is now less than a month away.

As usual, at this time of year, pre-season “friendly” matches take centre stage, and the Rams kick off this new campaign with a home game against local League One side ROCHDALE.

The Dale, who have had some excellent seasons of late, appeared to be dead and buried when the club promoted coach Brian Barry-Murphy into the managers chair towards the end of last season, but it proved to be an inspired decision.

Results picked up immediately and the deficit was soon overcome to ensure that our neighbours continue to play at level three for another season.

At a time when so many clubs are struggling to survive, Rochdale have always stood out as being a well-run club who cut their cloth accordingly.

Their Spotland ground is now one of the best in the lower Divisions, and the Rams squad can expect a decent test against our full-time neighbours.

Many of last season’s team that performed so well after the arrival of manager Chris Willcock, are still with us, along with a handful of newcomers, a number of whom have been on Chris’ radar for some time.

As usual, there will be a number of changes throughout the game as trialists are given the opportunity to prove themselves, and newcomers become aware of their team-mates and the tactics expected with the new season approaching.

Reduced admission for this one of just £5 for adults, £2 for concessions, and £1 for 12 and under, accompanied by an adult.

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