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The development squad continue their build up to the season tonight with a visit to Moss Lane to face Altrincham who are preparing for life in National League One having suffered relegation last season.

It’s a pre-season fixture that was becoming almost a regular feature after Eddie Howe took the first team there in both 2011 and 2012, on both occasions for our opening pre-season game.

Brad Jackson played at Colne and then for the first team at Bolton

Brad Jackson played at Colne and then for the first team at Bolton

We won both those. In 2011, goals from Alex MacDonald, Chris Eagles, Martin Paterson and Chris Iwelumo gave us a 4-1 win and a year later it was 4-2 with goals from Chris McCann and Danny Ings with Charlie Austin bagging a brace.

We went back in 2013 with the development squad in a game played on the same Saturday afternoon as the first team were picking up a first league win of the season at Sheffield Wednesday. On that occasion goals from Steven Hewitt and Jamie Frost weren’t enough with Altrincham winning the game 3-2.

And so back tonight, but for the Altrincham fans there will be disappointment that Josh Ginnelly won’t be playing. He spent the second half of last season with them, scoring five goals in twenty National League games, but his loan move to Walsall yesterday has ruled out a return to Moss Lane.

He’s one of two who featured at Colne last week who has since gone out on loan with Alex Whitmore, who featured at left-back in the game at Holt House, having moved to Morecambe.

Who will feature tonight is difficult to determine and will depend on who did and didn’t board the coach this morning bound for Glasgow. Besides Ginnelly, Brad Jackson and Dan Agyei were both involved at Colne but then played a part with the first team at Bolton.

Altrincham could field a couple of player who spent time at Burnley. They’ve signed Dave Lynch from Clitheroe in the summer. He was a member of our youth team and enjoyed the 2011/12 season in the development squad before leaving the club, and Billy Hasler-Cregg was an under-16 who played some youth team games before moving on to Rochdale.

Kick off tonight is at 7:30 p.m. and admission is £8 for adults, £5 concessions and £2 for juniors. Altrincham are also providing live commentary at Radio Robins for tonight’s game.

Following on from the development squad, the youth team play their fourth and last pre-season game tomorrow. Having drawn against Rotherham and beaten both Bury and Huddersfield, we face Bradford City tomorrow morning at Gawthorpe with the kick off at 11 a.m.

The youth team’s league season kicks off next Saturday with an away game against Fleetwood.

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