Blades News Featured First Team Reserves First Team Pre-season – 2015/2016 By Martin Fox Posted on July 18, 2015 22 min read 0 2,147 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr After another fruitless campaign with the intention of leaving League One in the right direction, fans and club officials alike have dissected last season and welcomed a new management team ready for another assault on League One. The wait is almost over, with the players having returned to Shirecliffe ready to impress the new gaffer and get back to some proper football. United will once again remain fairly local in their quest to adequately prepare for the season ahead, with only two of the first-team away games a significant distance in Cheltenham Town and Exeter City. Blades fans will join Nigel Adkins in a preview of the new Desso pitch with two Premiership teams in Newcastle United and Hull City visiting Bramall Lane. As ever, we’ll be updating on the latest pre-season happenings via twitter, so if you can’t make the games, follow us via http://twitter.com/s24su Find out where you can catch up with the Blades with our quick guide to the first team pre-season: [table id=21 /] 18th July 2015 – Ilkeston FC v. Sheffield United – The New Manor Ground The Northern Premier League side will be no stranger to many Blades, having been part of a few pre-season campaigns recently. Forging links in recent years, the Blades also recruited Che Adams and Kieran Wallace from the Robins last year. Another to recently to leave Ilkeston is Joe Maguire, brother of ex-Blade Harry, who did spend 4 years with the Blades but made his breakthrough with Scunthorpe United. Maguire was popular with the locals, twice winning player of the year but has opted to join his old boss at Nuneaton Town for the 2015/2016 season. The Robins will be looking to impress new head coach Gavin Strachan, son of Gordon. Following a spell as youth team coach at Peterborough United, Strachan begins his first managerial job at the New Manor Ground this season. Ilkeston got their pre-season off to a winning start over the weekend, with a 4-0 victory over a Peterborough United XI. About the Ground The New Manor Ground opened in August 1992, when Ilkeston Town FC moved from their home for 99 years (not surprisingly called The Manor Ground) – to take up residence in a purpose-built stadium. It is situated on the north-east edge of Ilkeston, around a mile from the town centre and is bordered by the River Erewash to the east and Erewash Canal to the south. The ground has a capacity of 3,029, including covered accommodation for 2,000. There are 550 seats – 270 in the main stand on the Awsworth Road side, straddling the halfway line, and 280 in the Clocktower Stand. Segregation is rarely enforced with all supporters entering the ground via turnstiles in the club car park. If segregation is necessary, visiting supporters enter via the main turnstiles in the car park to occupy southern areas of the ground, and home fans via turnstiles to the rear of the clubhouse. The record attendance at the New Manor Ground was achieved in 1999 for the visit Rushden & Diamonds which attracted 2,538. Getting there A fairly easy journey by car this one, with the ground just a few miles from the M1 with a total distance of around 40 miles from Bramall Lane. In terms of parking, there is a small car park at the ground and plenty of street parking nearby. Getting to Ilkeston by Train is a bit more of an effort, given than Ilkeston is without a railway station in operation. The nearest operating station is Langley Mill which is around 5 miles from the ground. Ticket Details: Ilkeston will be selling seated tickets for the game for £15 (all ages), which are available in advance from the Ilkeston Ticket Office on 0115 9442111. Alternatively, terrace tickets and general admission will be available on the day, cash only. Prices are £10 Adults, £6 Concessions and £1 Juniors. Official Website: http://www.ilkestonfc.co.uk Fans Forums: http://s10.zetaboards.com/IFC/index/ & http://members4.boardhost.com/WhiteBallForum/ Contact Details: New Manor Ground Awsworth Road Ilkeston Derbyshire DE7 8JF Phone: 0115 944 4428 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 21st July 2015 – Cheltenham Town v. Sheffield United – Whaddon Road A cracking trip for those away Blades who would like to get a new ground in, the Blades will visit another side with the nickname “The Robins” in Cheltenham Town. Having previously clashed in the FA Cup at Bramall Lane in 2003, the Blades were victorious 4-0. Cheltenham Town currently reside in the Conference Premier (recently renamed the “National League”), having been relegated last season from League Two following a sixteen season spell in the Football League. In their first home friendly of the season, Gary Johnson’s new look side will have a host of new faces making their debut for the club. About the Ground The Robins play at Whaddon Road, which has been shared with Gloucester City since 2010. With a total capacity of 7200, the ground has a mixture of seating and terracing. Away supporters are usually housed in the Hazlewoods Stand which is an all-seated stand behind one of the goals, where approximately 1100 supporters can be accommodated. There is a club bar at the ground called the “Robins Nest” which we’re led to believe usually allows a small number of away fans or alternatively, pubs in the vicinity are the Kemble Brewery Inn and the Sudeley Arms. Getting there Whaddon Road is approximately 135 miles from Bramall lane, with a car journey of approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes. Parking is available at the ground or alternatively the Parklands Social Club offers some parking, usually at a charge of £4 per car. Other than that, we’re told that there is little in the way of street parking nearby. Another option is a Park & Ride service which operated from Cheltenham Racecourse, however, at present, we’re unsure this would be in operation for a pre-season friendly game. Cheltenham Spa Railway Station is around two miles from the ground, with a Bus service getting you as far as the town centre. We’re informed taxis from the station to the ground should cost around £8 – £10 and that a taxi rank is located in the station car park. Ticket Details Tickets for the fixture will be available on the night and are priced at £10 adults, £5 Concessions, Students and Under 18’s with Under 11’s gaining entry free of charge. Official Website: http://www.ctfc.com Fans Forums: http://www.robinsnestforum.co.uk/ Contact Details: Cheltenham Town Football Club Whaddon Road Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL52 5NA Phone: 01242 573558 Email: email@example.com 23rd July 2015 – Exeter City v. Sheffield United – St James Park Travelling further south west, the Blades first team will then move on to Exeter and St James Park, to take on Paul Tisdale’s side. Finishing 10th in League Two last season, the Grecians will be looking to do better next year in their quest to return to League One after being relegated in 2012. The Blades last visited St James Park that year, ending the season with a 2-2 draw having played 70 minutes with 10-men following the sending off of James Beattie. About the Ground St James Park has a current capacity of 8541, and was built in 1904. The record attendance is 20984, who saw Sunderland beat Exeter 4-2 in an FA Cup Sixth Round replay in 1931. The ground itself is a mixture of old and new, with recent years seeing improvements following on from previous financial difficulties. There are proposals in place to look to re-develop the old Grandstand and the away terrace. Away fans are normally housed in the St James’ Road terrace, where just over 1000 can be accommodated. Previously travelling Blades will attest to facilities being basic and the views not being fantastic. The terrace is also open to the elements, with no roof and housing behind the stand peering over. There is a social club at the ground, which often allows away supporters with the Wells Tavern being the next nearest pub. On our last visit, we walked from the city centre where there was no shortage of establishments. Getting there St James Park is around 245 miles from Bramall Lane, with a car journey of approximately 3 hours and 50 minutes. For those looking to take in the Cheltenham fixture, it’s another 115 miles down the M5. Parking is very limited at the ground, with very little in the way of street parking in the immediate area. It’s therefore advisable to park and walk from the city centre. The ground is served by St James Park rail station, which is right next to the ground and is served by the Avocet line, timetables can be found via the following link – http://www.exetercityfc.co.uk/documents/stjamesparkrp125-2459071.pdf Official Website: http://www.exetercityfc.co.uk/ Fans Forums: http://www.exeweb.com/forums/ Contact Details: Exeter City Football Club St James Park Stadium Way Exeter EX4 6PX Phone: 01392 411243 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 26th July 2015 – Sheffield United v. Newcastle United – Bramall Lane Giving fans the first opportunity to see a game hosted on the newly installed Desso pitch, Nigel Adkins’ first game in charge at Bramall Lane sees the visit of Newcastle United. In a testimonial game for Chris Morgan, the Magpies will travel en-masse to the Lane with newly installed Steve McClaren in charge of the Premier League side. Morgan will be donating funds raised from the fixture to three local charities, after setting up the game whilst John Carver was still in charge. Returning from a tour of the USA, the clash with the Blades will be their first game back on English soil and will be the first time the Blades have welcomed Newcastle United to the Lane since a 1-0 loss in 2009 – to a Ryan Taylor shot which was deflected in by the boot of Chris Morgan! Official Website: http://www.nufc.co.uk/ Fans Forums: http://www.toonforum.co.uk/index.php Ticket Details: Tickets are priced £15 adults, £10 adult season ticket holders, and £5 all concessions. Tickets are on sale from Monday 6th July. Supporters purchasing tickets will be allocated 100 loyalty points. Please note: Only the South stand, Kop and the designated disabled section of John Street are open. 29th July 2015 – Macclesfield Town v. Sheffield United – Moss Rose The Blades penultimate first team friendly will see a visit to Moss Rose for an evening kick off against The Silkmen. The Conference Premier side were relegated from League Two in 2012 after a long spell in league football. The sole competitive game between the two clubs was a 2-1 Blades win in the first round of the League Cup in 2003, with a couple of goals from Jack Lester seeing the Blades book their place in the second round. About the Ground Moss Rose was built in 1891 and currently holds a capacity of 6355 (including 2599 seated). The record attendance is 9003, which were attracted by a Cheshire Senior Cup game against Winsford United in 1948. The ground is located on the outskirts of Macclesfield, meaning that the choices in terms of pubs and food are somewhat limited. There is a bar at the ground, which would normally welcome both home and away fans, serving drinks and hot food. The closest pub is the Golden Lion, on Moss Lane, other options are The Railway View Pub on Byrons Lane and The Albion on London Road. Street parking is available in the vicinity of the ground. Macclesfield Railway Station is approximately one and a half miles from the ground. Official Website: http://www.mtfc.co.uk Contact Details: Macclesfield Town FC Moss Rose Stadium London Road Macclesfield SK11 7SP Phone: 01625 264868 26th July 2015 – Sheffield United v. Hull City – Bramall Lane In a second game at the Lane, the Blades will welcome Hull City. Having recently seen the application to change their name turned down, the Tigers have returned from a pre-season camp in Portugal and will be looking to bounce back following relegation last term. The game could see the return to Bramall Lane of Harry Maguire, however fellow ex-Blade Stephen Quinn left the club for Reading after his contract expired in the summer. Official Website: http://www.hullcitytigers.com Fans Forums: http://www.hullcityindependent.net/?page=forum Ticket Details: Tickets are priced £15 adults, £10 adult season ticket holders, and £5 all concessions. Tickets are on sale from Monday 6th July. Supporters purchasing tickets will be allocated 100 loyalty points. Please note: Only the South stand, Kop and the designated disabled section of John Street are open.