BURY’S first round Capital One Cup draw – at local rivals Bolton Wanderers – stole the thunder from this year’s fixture release day, with former Shaker Jamie Hoyland leading the calls for it to be televised.
The first Bury-Bolton derby in 12 years was picked out of the hat on Tuesday, the day before the Football League announced the fixtures for the 2014/15 season.
It will be played in the first week of the season, either on Tuesday, August 12 or on the Monday or Wednesday, if it is picked out as one of the two live ties on Sky.
Before that, Bury will open their League Two campaign with a home match against Cheltenham Town on Saturday, August 9.
But that match is sure to be overshadowed by the derby.
“What a start to the season – fantastic,” said Hoyland.
“If everything goes right on the night, then what a great way that would be to get everybody going.
“Bury will have nothing to lose, they can just enjoy the night and hopefully pull off one of the shocks of the round and make a big early statement.
“Alongside the MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon tie, it is the stand-out fixture, so you would imagine it has got to be one of the two TV games.”
The opening five league fixtures of Bury’s 130th season are a mixed bag of promoted clubs, local rivals and likely title contenders.
After the visit of Cheltenham, they face tough trips to Hartlepool and last season’s Football Conference champions Luton – Bury’s first Tuesday night league match – before home games against Plymouth and Accrington.
The Shakers’ festive fixtures kick off with a trip to Northampton on Boxing Day before Mansfield visit the JD Stadium the following Saturday.
There are no games scheduled for New Year’s Day.
Easter celebrations will also begin with a tough away day at promoted side Cambridge United – who knocked Bury out of the FA cup last season – on the Saturday before a home game against Morecambe on the Monday.
Carlisle will be the first of the relegated sides to take on Bury, on Saturday, September 13, closely followed by Graham Wesley’s Stevenage on following Tuesday, while a possible do-or-die match at Ryan Lowe’s former club Tranmere Rovers awaits on the final day.
“The Cheltenham opener doesn’t really stand out as a stadium filler, but I would say the trip to Luton early doors will be a good test,” added Hoyland.
“Teams that come up from the Conference traditionally start off well and it will be good to see how our boys cope with them in what is sure to be a full house.
“Maybe there are better places to go on the final day than Tranmere, but if all goes to plan then that could be a nice day out on the Wirral for the fans to celebrate Bury already being promoted.”