ANDY Welsh acknowledges it is a pre-season ‘with a difference’ as Bury FC prepare for their first game since returning to action as a club.

The Shakers travel to Thackley AFC on Saturday for the first of eight pre-season games - including two high profile back-to-back home friendlies against Bradford City and Preston North End the following weekend to celebrate the return of football to Gigg Lane.

While Welsh admits the last few months have caused a real buzz of excitement around the town, he says it is now about getting down to business and preparing his newly-assembled squad for their NWCL Premier Division campaign - Jack Lenehan and Chris Rowney the latest additions.

“This is a pre-season with a difference because Saturday is the first ever game,” said Welsh. “It’s a chance for supporters see Bury back in action for the first time so there is a lot of interest.

“But for us, pre-season is all about getting back in training, working together, getting that unity together as a new squad and putting it in to practice on the pitch.

“Of course is a bit different because the return of Bury FC has caused a lot of interest but for the players, it is all about getting minutes.”

Bury FC travel to Hyde United on Tuesday before hosting Bradford next Saturday and Preston North End the following day and Welsh says it will be a weekend to celebrate the club’s homecoming.

Having signed Lenehan from Atherton Collieries and been reunited with Rowney, who he worked with at Bury AFC, Welsh is happy with the squad he has assembled.
“We have put together a squad that has a good blend of youth and experience,” he added.

“There are some old faces and there are some new faces and we just have to work hard to gel together as a squad.

“We’re back in pre-season training and Saturday will be the first chance for us to play as a team.”