Opposition in Focus
Atherton Collieries

Next up in our pre-season analysis is another newcomer, Atherton Collieries.

The Manchester based club were promoted as champions of the Northern West League and will be looking to prove themselves in the upcoming campaign.

The Colls accumulated 82 points over 38 league matches and boasted the best goal difference in their division. They also conceded the least amount of goals along with runners up Radcliffe Borough and third placed Leek Town.

Now Michael Clegg’s side will be looking to solidify themselves in the Northern Premier League. They may even try to overachieve as the league newcomers, similarly to how Basford United managed to finish 7th in their first season in the Northern Premier League.

Up top there is a lot of quality for the Colls to make the most of, after scoring 89 goals last season, the most out of any team. They have made sure to maintain that firepower by extending the contract of top scorer Tom Bentham.

A handful of other first teamers in the form of Ben Hardcastle, Danny Lafferty and Clive Smith have also signed contract extensions.

Atherton have also signed some new talent, such as a third spell at the club for Ben Conway, along with the additions of right winger Marcus Perry, 20-year-old midfielder Jack Egan and trialist Toyeeb Mustapha.

Michael Clegg’s side have endured a positive pre-season as well. Positive results such as a 5-0 hammering against Ashton Town and a 2-0 victory over eight-time Saudi Arabian champions Al-Ittihad.

The Dolly Blues face off against Atherton Collieries on August 26th at the Giant Axe Stadium at 3pm.

By Adam Smith