Mel Harmison puts squad thorugh paces for memorial match

Mel Harmison, who will be managing a Bedlington Terriers XI against an Ashington XI in a charity game for motor neurone disease.
Mel Harmison, who will be managing a Bedlington Terriers XI against an Ashington XI in a charity game for motor neurone disease.

Players set to take part in a memorial game at the end of the month have been put through their paces in preparation.

Mel Harmison, manager and captain of the Bedlington 1999 squad, who will again contest the Les Alderson Memorial match against a Steve Harmison outfit, have undertaken a rigorous training schedule over the past few weeks.

After Steve’s Ashington select had won the inaugural clash in 2013, Mel was delighted to balance the scales with victory last year.

So much so that he recently sent his players on a week-long boot camp to sharpen up their fitness.

Mel said: “The past two years have been fantastic, not least for the players because the dressing room banter before and after the game is great.

“It’s always nice for me to get one over on our Steve as I don’t get that many, so our win last year was very sweet.

“We had too much for them and as a result it has made us even more determined this time round.

“Therefore I decided to send the squad off to boot camp as part of the preparation.

“I know our Steve and he will be out for revenge, that’s for sure, but I’m also looking to pull a few rabbits out of the hat.

“However, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that on the day, it’s about Les Alderson and his family and how much money we raise for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.”

He added: “There are a few players who will be missing due to holiday or work commitments, but the nucleus of the squad will be the same with the addition of Anthony Chapman.”

Ex-Terriers striker Dean Gibb will once again make the 700-mile round trip from his Southampton base.

“Dean is a telecommunications manager who is based down south,” said Mel.

“We call him the lean mean fighting machine and he is looking forward to another tussle with our Steve.”

Kick-off on Sunday, August 30, at Woodhorn Lane, is 2pm.