Championship side Preston head to Ashington for pre-season

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson with the League One play-off trophy.
Preston North End manager Simon Grayson with the League One play-off trophy.
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Ashington FC have arranged a pre-season friendly at home to newly promoted Championship side Preston North End.

The clash with the League One play-off winners will take place on Tuesday, July 28.

Colliers’ head coach Ian Skinner said: “Obviously to host a Championship side is a fantastic coup for the club.

“Preston manager Simon Grayson has told us he intends to send his strongest squad possible, and that he is also making the journey.

“Simon has a strong friendship with our manager Steve Harmison, who had played in a charity game and the friendly came about from there.

“Unofficially it has been pencilled in for several weeks, but Simon didn’t want it mentioned or announced until their season was over, which of course culminated in them clinching promotion from League One to the Championship via the play-offs.”

Another friendship has led to the Colliers travelling to face Brigg Town on Saturday, August 1.

Skinner added: “I’m good friends with Andy Foster, who was manager at Bridlington but who has moved on to Brigg.

“They have just been relegated but they play at step five in the pyramid – the same as ourselves – so I asked him for a friendly which he agreed too, and it will be a good test for us.”

Meanwhile supporters will also be eagerly awaiting the derby clash between Ashington and Blyth Spartans, which will be hosted by the Colliers on Saturday, July 18.

Ashington’s warm-up fixtures to date are: Monday, July 6, Ashington Colliers; Friday, July 10, Blyth Town, away; Wednesday, July 15, v Alnwick Town, away; Saturday, July 18, Blyth Spartans, home; Friday, July 24, Ryton, away; Tuesday, July 28, Preston North End, home; and Saturday, August 1, Brigg Town, away.

Meanwhile the Woodhorn Lane outfit have announced that entry prices for the 2015-16 season will remain unchanged – adults £6; concessions £2 – with a price freeze on season tickets at adults £90 and concessions £30.