Darlo and Pools kick off Blues’ summer friendlies

Whitby's Alex White clears the danger v Hartlepool in a pre-season friendly   picture: Brian Murfield
Whitby's Alex White clears the danger v Hartlepool in a pre-season friendly picture: Brian Murfield

Whitby Town’s new season gets under way tomorrow with the first of the pre-season friendlies against Darlington.

And league two Hartlepool provide the opposition in a tasty looking clash next Wednesday as boss Darren Williams looks to strengthen his squad ahead of the coming league season.

“This is a really important week for us as we want to get everyone back training, look forward to the games which give us another opportunity to look at players in a game sitiation,” Williams told the Whitby Gazette this week.

“We thought we might be struggling for a keeper [after Nick Liversedge joined Burnley] but we’ve had four down this week.

“There is an issue that we can’t have all four at the game and it’s not fair on people’s time on the pitch so we will deal with the situation with the games, we can see two in the first game and two in the second. With the outfield players, there’s not so many so the ones we’ve got in stand a great chance of being involved.

“I’m not particularly results orientated although we do like to win every game, but it’s important to have a look at people and get things right.”

It’s a tough start to the warm-up fixtures too, with EvoStik League first division north outfit Darlington coming to the Turnbull, fresh from their promotion from the northern league.

Wednesday is the stand-out fixture with Football League side Hartlepool providing the opposition.

Whitby held the League Two side 1-1 in a friendly last season and Williams felt his side were unlucky not to win outright.

The Pools side featured former Premier League striker Ritchie Humphreys and experienced frontman Steve Howard.

“They only had two players who weren’t there, from their starting XI and looking at it in that context, the lads have done fantastically.

“I felt we were the better side.”

Whitby also know their opponents in next season’s cup competitions. In the FA Cup, they will play West Auckland, Harrogate RA or Tow Law on Saturday 14 September, while in the FA Trophy, they entertain Chorley, on Saturday 19 October.

Fixtures are:

July, Sat 13 Darlington H, Wed 17 Hartlepool United H, Sat 20 Bishop Auckland H, Tues 23 Guisborough Town A, Wed 31 Spennymoor Town H.

August, Sat 3 North Ferriby United A, Tues 6 Pickering Town A, Sat 10 Scarborough Athletic H.

Look out for reports and pictures in next Friday’s Gazette.