Local derby for Whitley Bay in FA Cup

The draws for the early rounds of the FA Cup sees Whitley Bay handed a local derby at Team Northumbria in the extra preliminary round.

Whitley will travel to Coach Lane for only the second time when the sides meet on Saturday, August 17.

Newly promoted Team Northumbria held Whitley to a 2-2 draw at Benton in the Ebac Northern League in March, but Whitley ran out comfortable 6-0 winners earlier in the season at Hillheads.

Victory would give Ian Chandler’s side another away tie, this time against second division opponents Northallerton or Whitehaven.

Progression beyond this stage would set up a home game, possibly against Scarborough, who as a Football League side were Whitley’s victims in the first round proper of the competition back in 1989, the season when they reached the third round of the competition.

Whitley Bay players are back in training ahead of the new season and they play their first pre-season friendly on Saturday when they visit Croft Park to take on Blyth Spartans.

Then on Wednesday evening (7.30pm) Football Conference side Gateshead provide the opposition at Hillheads in what will be a tough challenge for Whitley.

The club have made another new signing, with former Bedlington midfielder Mark Convery putting pen to paper at the weekend. He is an experienced player who was a member of the Darlington side in their Football League days.

Striker Ash Davis, who scored 13 goals in 26 appearances last season has also signed on for the coming campaign, as has goalkeeper Jonny Ball, who played just one game for the club last season.

Whitley Bay’s reserve side play their first pre-season game away to Newcastle Benfield Reserves on Friday evening.