With the pre-season fixture list for the three senior sides now in place, it’s time to take a look at our opponents in a bit more depth and see what challenges they will pose for Rangers.
Harrogate Old Boys (5th July 2018 KO 7pm)
Not a lot is known about the Old Boys for the simple reason they were formed in time for the start of this season. Reading through the available material, the club is the brain child of Chairman Mike Jauncey, Secretary Charlie Hartley and Treasurer Jason Rowe, who were all involved with Hampsthwaite United until recently.
The Old Boys play there home matches at Rossett Sports Centre on the 3G pitch and have already an impressive pre-season campaign lined up against Pool AFC, Boroughbrigde Reserves and Hampsthwaite United.
Headingley AFC (12th July 2018 KO 7pm)
Last season saw Headingley struggle in the West Yorkshire Premier Division, but a decent spell of form and an upturn in results during Feb saw them finish just outside the relegation zone.
One player that Rangers will have to watch carefully, is goalscorer Ashley Austin who finished last season with an impressive haul of 21 goals in the league and 27 in total. This is the second campaign that Austin has finished in the top five of league goalscorers and it will take a brave man to say that he won’t be up there again this time around!
Huntington Rovers (18th July 2018 KO 7pm)
The third game for Dan Marshall’s men brings the third different league to Barr Field when York Minster Premier League side Huntington Rovers visit. Over the past three seasons, Rovers have finished in the top four and it is expected that they will challenge again for a top spot.
Rovers have a very famous face in charge, being managed by none other than Iain Dunn (youngsters, ask your Dad!) Dunn has played for league sides York City, Chesterfield, Peterborough United, Huddersfield Town and Scunthorpe United and has used his experience to transform Huntington into a very good local outfit.
Carlton Athletic (21st July 2018 KO 2:30pm)
The current West Yorkshire Premier League Champions come to Barr Field on the 21st in what is sure to be the standout match for Rangers. No strangers to success, Athletic can now boast back-to-back titles and since their return to the Premier League in 2015, they haven’t finished outside the top two!
Looking through the goalscoring stats, Anees Younis is the player that Rangers will need to watch, but at the other end of the pitch they also have a mean defence, conceding just 35 goals all season in the league!
Tadcaster Magnets (24th July 2018 KO 7pm)
Three days after the Carlton match, we welcome local side Tadcaster Magnets to Barr Field. Over the last few seasons, we have had some great matches against the York Premier side and there is no reason why this one shouldn’t be in the same bracket.
Last time round, Tadcaster had an average season in the top flight of the York set up finishing 9th out of 15 teams. Despite having a reasonably tight defence, the green and white shirts found scoring difficult and only Phil Smith managed to get into double figures.
Poppleton United (7th August 2018 KO 7pm)
We travel over to York to play our only away fixture of this pre-season campaign, but it promises to be an excellent game against a team that struggled in their return to the York Premier League, finishing 11th, but still had a player in Niall Kirby who scored 22 league goals!
In fact, looking at the goalscoring stats, Rangers will have to be strong in defence as the top five players of Poppleton contributed 52 goals!
Our reserve side also have a challenging schedule when they kick-off their campaign on the 5th July against Harrogate Old Boys, in a game that will see all players involved at some stage.
Kirkby Malzeard (10th July 2018 KO 7pm)
Harrogate & District Colin Lowe Memorial Premier League side Kirkby Malzeard come to Barr Field, looking to continue the kind of form that saw them achieve their best finish in the league (third) since winning it in 2009/2010.
Like us, Malzeard also have a team in the Harrogate & District Veterans league and finished one place above us in the Championship!
Sherburn White Rose (17th July 2018 KO 7pm)
It’s a trip to Finkle Hill next and a meeting with fellow Alliance Division Two side Sherburn White Rose. This is definitely a game that will give Kris Macdonald’s team a benchmark to work towards for the forthcoming campaign.
Last season, Rangers managed the double over Sherburn, but there were not easy matches and this should be a great game between two very committed teams. Our hosts will be looking to have a better campaign this time around and build upon their 9th place finish.
Pocklington Town (31st July 2018 KO 7:30pm)
There was quite a bit of interest shown when we announced this fixture. With their main team active in the Humber Premier league and their reserves finishing second in the York Minster Division One (they also have a third team who play in the York Minster Reserve A league and a fourth side who ply their trade in the Driffield Division 1) it should be a very competitive game at a great venue for Rangers.
Clifford AFC (8th August 2018 KO 7pm)
It’s a local match to finish the reserves run out as we welcome York Minster League Division 4 champions Clifford AFC to Barr Field.
A superb campaign last season by Clifford saw them lose only two league matches as they finished a comfortable six points ahead of Pollington at the top of the table.
A look at the statistics shows that Tom Deighton was the main goal getter for Clifford last season hitting 10 in the league.
Our veterans have a duo of matches to come during the months of August and September as Rich Strike looks to get his team ready for the new Harrogate & District Veterans league.
Garforth Villa (19th August 2018 KO TBC)
It’s a good challenge for Rangers as the runners up in the Championship come to Barr Field. Both teams enjoyed victories over each other during the recent campaign, and it should be a good game for both sets of players to get the ball rolling.
Otley Town (2 September 2018 KO TBC)
Not a lot is known about Otley, as their veterans side are a newly formed for this coming season. Traditionally a very strong set up, their veterans should also follow suit and it should be an interesting game.
Please come and support our various teams as they all look to start building up match fitness and tactics for the new seasons. We look forward to seeing you all and offer a warm welcome to all teams and supporters.