After one of the longest of close seasons Prestwich Heys are preparing for the new North West Counties League Premier Division campaign which begins on 31st July.

It’s been a very busy summer at Adie Moran Park. It began with appointment of Lee O’Brien and James Hampson as Joint Managers after the club decided to part company with Matt Barnes.

Since then, the duo have been busy. They first brought in Wesley Roberts and Paul Ubarno from AVRO to join up with remaining Goalkeeping Goalkeeper Coach Daniel Wolstensholme before making the eye-catching announcement of Melford Knight as First Team Coach.

Knight joins Heys after having fulfilled a similar role at Northern Premier League Glossop North End and brings with him a wealth of experience.

As a player, Melford enjoyed a distinguished career as a combative box-to-box midfielder with an eye for goal. In a lengthy career that included Witton Albion, Mossley, Ashton United, Salford City and Ramsbottom United. Since retiring four years ago, he has been busy obtaining his coaching badges and is about to embark on obtaining his UEFA B Licence.

Heys have also been busy with player recruitment with O’Brien and Hampson overseeing a complete overhaul of the squad. When the players reported back for training last week only seven players remained from last season with around a dozen new signings expected to be confirmed once the NW Counties registration window opens.

Heys are set to open the pre-season fixtures at Blackpool Wren Rovers on Saturday July 2nd.

The first home game comes on Saturday 9th July when Ramsbottom United are the visitors before West Lancashire League Eagley follow on Monday 11th July (7.30pm.)

Heys have entered the St. Annes Cup, hosted by Tottington United. The four team tournament sees Heys face Walshaw Sports in the semi-final on Wednesday 13th July (6.45pm) with the winners then facing Tottington or Elton Vale in the Final on Saturday 16th July at 3.30pm with the losers of both ties playing in a 3rd/4th place off at 12.30pm.

Heys then face successive games against NW Counties Division One South opposition. On Saturday 23rd July they travel to Wythenshawe Amateurs before returning to Adie Moran Park on Monday 27th July with New Mills the visitors.

League fixtures are expected to be announced towards the end of this month but the draw for the opening round of the Macron Cup has been made with Heys drawn away to Stockport Georgians in the First Round on Saturday 15th October.

The tie pairs Heys with familiar opposition with the sides having been regular opponents during their Manchester League days. Georgians have been promoted to the League this season and will play in Division One South.

It’s been busy off the field too with Heys unveiling a brand new 100 seat Stand as well as increasing the capacity of their covered standing area and installing additional toilet facilities at the ground

The club also announced two significant sponsorship deals. Oldham based kit manufactuer Hope + Glory announced a four-year deal to become the new technical kit supplier, which will bear their name as a main club sponsor from the 2022/23 season. Meanwhile Global Auctioneers, the UK’s Premier Auction House, have become a sponsor of the club and the new main stand.

Full pre-Season fixtures are:

Saturday 2nd July Blackpool Wren Rovers Away 2pm

Saturday 9th July Ramsbottom United Home 1pm

Monday 11th July Eagley Home 7.30pm

St. Annes Cup at Tottington United

Wednesday 13th July Walshaw Sports 6.45pm

Saturday 16th July Tottington United or Elton Vale 12.30pm (3/4th place play off) or 3.30pm (Final)

Saturday 23rd July Wythenshawe Amateurs Away 2pm

Monday 25th July New Mills Home 7pm