Following a massive shakeup by the Football Association, Kirk Deighton Rangers found themselves placed in the Conference Premier Division (I know, just go with it!)
A quick spruce up of Barr Field saw several stands erected amazingly quickly, and the capacity raised to an official 6078 (2200 seated), more importantly, the toilets were finally fixed in the club house much to the delight of Chairman Rich Strike.
Following weeks of preparation, Manager Daniel Macdonald (leave it!) and his squad of 22 players (all the game would allow me – apologies for those who didn’t get drafted in!) were ready to go and pre-season loomed. Rangers suffered an injury scare a couple of days before the match when Josh Buckley suffered a groin injury (yes, I know he’s just got engaged – leave it!!)
First up and Barr Field was Swansea City! The Welsh side arrived with a strong outfit, including recent loan signing Rhian Brewster from Liverpool.
“A travesty” was the verdict of Macdonald (actually it was more profanity filled, but kids could be reading this!) after the dramatic finish robbed Rangers of a famous (and unlikely) victory. “Damn annoying that, I got my hand to it as well!” was Lewis Mallinson’s comment!
Following three days of rest and training, we welcomed Wayne Rooney’s Derby County to the Field and blimey, the man himself was in the starting line-up!
It was brought to the Gaffer’s attention post-match that there was interest building in Josh Barden, Dan Flynn and Mason Sheridan-Hawley, so acting quickly, new contracts were offered to the trio – would they accept?
The third match saw Rangers on the road as they travelled to Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit Buxton. A much-changed side took to the The Silverlands pitch, however they had one instruction from the gaffer - win!
“Well that wasn’t great!” was Macdonald's post-match reaction! However, one bright spot was the performance of young goalkeeper Kieran Arnett who had been promoted from the junior set-up (that and he’s my son and he begged me to be in the game!)
Next up … the pre-season continues with games against Grays, Marine, Mildenhall and Gloucester City.