RAMSBOTTOM United have announced their pre-season programme and there’s plenty of derbies for fans to get stuck into.

Two games will be played at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, meetings with near neighbours Bury AFC and Radcliffe.

The phoenix club will be the visitors on Saturday, July 24, with Lee Fowler’s Boro in town on Saturday, August 7, in what will be the final warm-up before the season kicks off seven days later.

One of eight away games in the 10-match programme will see Chris Willcock’s side head to Prestwich Heys on Thursday, July 22.

Rammy will be in the new Northern Premier League West Division but will have plenty of familiar foes after the FA’s non-league restructure.

Willcock’s side will be pushing hard for promotion having been in the mix when the last two campaigns were curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to the derbies there are seven other trips to build up to the August 14 kick-off.

A trip to West Lancashire League side Turton is first up on July 6 with games at Padiham, July 10, Silsden, July 13, Daisy Hill, July 17 and Irlam, July 20, to follow before the games against Heys and Bury AFC.

Then the Rams are on the road at Liversedge, July 27, and Bala Town, July 31, before hosting Boro.

Elsewhere, Bury AFC have comfirmed a further friendly at Cheadle Town on Saturday, June 19, a 2pm kick-off for the phoenix club.

Andy Welsh’s men will be looking for a better outcome than their 1-0 defeat on their last visit to the Park Road Stadium in September last year.

Tickets, priced £6 for adults and £2 for concessions, can be bought online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/cheadle-town-football-club.

AFC returned to action in front of their supporters with a 4-2 defeat at Euxton Villa on May 29, the challenge of being part of the phoenix club’s journey not having diminished according to boss Welsh.

“On the (tactics) board, it said ‘there are no friendlies for Bury AFC’ and there aren’t because no-one is going to give us an easy ride,” he said.

“It’s a cup final for everyone, and rightly so, because that’s the type of club we are.

“We’ll have to deal with it and we’re looking for players with strong character who are going to represent us in the right way.

“We’ve got an exciting season ahead. Games are not pivotal at this stage, for me it’s about getting the players out, getting them active and getting them used to an atmosphere again.”