Blyth Spartans boss Michael Nelson excited for supporters return after Alfreton Town opener is revealed
Blyth Spartans manager Michael Nelson is eagerly anticipating the return of supporters after his side were handed a home game against Alfreton Town on the opening day of the National League season.
The Derbyshire outfit will make the trip to Croft Park on Saturday, August 14 as Spartans host home supporters for a competitive game for the first time since a 3-0 defeat against Altrincham in February 2020.
Nelson’s new-look squad will host the Reds before their first away day of the season arrives seven days later when they travel to Kidderminster Harriers.
August is closed out with a home game against AFC Telford United and a Bank Holiday Monday visit to Farsley Celtic.
A first North East derby of the season comes on Saturday, September 11 when former Spartans boss Alun Armstrong returns to Croft Park with Darlington.
A derby double with Gateshead on Boxing Day and Sunday, January 2 sandwiches a home game against Spennymoor Town on Tuesday, December 28 and Spartans finish their season with a trip to Gloucester City on the second Saturday of May.
But all eyes are on that opening day home game against Alfreton as the Green Army make their long-awaited return to Croft Park.
Nelson said: “We really did want a home game to kick the season off.
“We feel we have done well with our recruitment and the pre-season friendlies, so hopefully the supporters will get a chance to see the lads ahead of the first day.
“I haven’t had a home game with supporters, and everyone tells me what it’s like when you get over 1,000 at Croft Park.
“That’s what we have all waited to see and hear at the club during the last 16 months and it will be fantastic to see the supporters back behind the lads.
“Hopefully, we can do that, the lads that have come back know what it’s like and I am sure they will love it.”
Nelson’s side kick off their preparations for the new season on Saturday afteroon when they visit Northern Premier League East Division club Marske United in a 12pm kick-off.
The Spartans boss has overseen a major overhaul of his squad this summer and has added 17 players to his squad over one of the most hectic summers in the club’s recent history.
That figure is set to increase to 18 ahead of the trip to Marske as Nelson closes in on a player he believes will add “invaluable experience” to his squad.
He said: “In terms of what we have done, we have got the numbers up and we are comfortable with the squad as it stands.
“But this player we have been speaking to for a couple of weeks will compliment what we already have and cause more competition for places.
“He has good experience at this level and above, he will provide us with invaluable experience to help the younger lads in the squad, and we feel he can be a key part of our plans throughout the season.”