New Thackley boss Andy Patterson has announced five of the club’s six pre-season friendlies.

Patterson has told his players to report back for training on Tuesday, June 24 and a little over two weeks later on Saturday, July 12 they will play their first warm-up game at Durham City.

Patterson said: “The day of the first pre-season training session is the day England play their last game of the group stages at the World Cup.

"That match kicks off at 5pm so the idea is to get everyone together and watch the game before having an hour and a half of training. We’re hoping that will be a good start to pre-season and very good for team bonding at the same time.

"England playing in big tournaments is good for lifting the mood and if we are doing well in the competition it brings the whole country together.

“Once we get the squad training they will have just three weeks or so to get ready for the Durham game. It’s a nice trip which, again, is good for bringing the lads together and it’s a game I really wanted.

“I contacted them because it’s a good set-up and I’ve played there a few times. When I was at Bradford City, Newcastle United's reserves played there and I really enjoyed those games.”

Patterson feels his squad will be ready for the game and it will whet their appetite for the friendly fixtures that follow.

“Our lads are fit enough to be ready for a game after seven or eight training sessions and we will be doing Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday once we get started,” said the Dennyboys boss.

“I want six games in total and we’ve got five confirmed - Durham, Colne, Kendal Town, Knaresborough Town and Barnoldswick Town. They are all sorted and we were going to play Salts at the start of August.

“That game was going to be one of the away games but Salts have had a lot of work done on their ground. I hope it will still go ahead, if we can get it arranged for a neutral ground."