AFTER a busy pre-season programme, Whitley Bay FC kick-off their STL Northern League division one season at home to Dunston UTS on Saturday.
Games between the two sides are usually closely contested and last season Whitley came out on top 2-1 on the three occasions the sides met.
Most memorable of all was the dramatic FA Vase quarter-final at Dunston when Whitley came from behind to win the tie in front of almost 1,500 fans.
Saturday’s game will see several new faces in the Bay squad, including Robbie Dale, who joined from Blyth Spartans, and Lee Paul Scroggins, who spent a season at Hillheads some eight years ago.
Kyle Hayes, now the club’s number one keeper, will be unavailable for the first few games of the season, giving opportunities for youngsters including Jonny Ball and Graham Pickering.
Scroggins and promising youngster Kyle Downey will bolster the midfield while in attack Whitley have a variety of options, with Dale, Phill Bell and Christie Elliott competing with Lee Kerr and Paul Chow.
Elliott, who joined the club in April, is an exciting young prospect, and along with proven goal scorer Dale and those already at the club it should ensure that there are plenty of goals in the coming season.
On Tuesday, August 16, Whitley travel to Cumbria to take on Penrith, kick-off 7.30pm.