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Injuries are a blow but Bradford Park Avenue are delighted pre-season is over
Bradford Park Avenue and Guiseley kick their seasons off on Saturday when the Conference North, under its new sponsor Skrill, gets underway.
Avenue’s manager John Deacey is doubly delighted. Not only is he seeing the back of the pre-season he so detests but he has also re-signed centre back James Knowles.
Knowles is set for his second Bradford debut when they travel to Leamington for their opening game.
However, the manager’s son, midfielder Jordan, suffered a broken arm in the warm-up game at Farsley. Avenue’s 5-1 win at Horsfall Stadium proved costly as Jason Price also suffered broken bones.
The Bradford boss said: “Jordan has broken his arm in two places – he was only on the pitch 23 minutes – and Jason has two broken ribs.
"We also have Nathan Hotte suspended for the first four games and Chib Chilaka with a hamstring injury. That’s just typical for Bradford Park Avenue but, that’s life.
“We could have done with a full squad because these (Leamington) will be a decent side. They won their league to get promoted last season and they have beaten three Conference sides in pre-season.
“But it's all systems go. We have worked hard to be ready for this day and we can’t wait to get started.”
Guiseley have home advantage for their opener, with Solihull Moors making the journey to Nethermoor.
The Lions will be facing opposition they know all about after sharing the spoils with the Midlands club last term. They each won at home in the meetings last season.
Following their final friendly, at Farsley last Saturday, Lions boss Steve Kittrick said: “We haven’t scored as many as we should have in pre-season but we have created so many chances in all of the games.
“I’m pleased with the way the build-up has gone. The players look sharp, and so they should because they have put the effort in. We have changed the squad around a bit to freshen things up and we will go again.”
Guiseley have finished runners-up the last two seasons but suffered defeats in the play-offs.
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