MARCUS Bignot says the visit of Bradford City will be a good early yardstick for how Guiseley's pre-season is progressing.

The Lions welcome their League Two neighbours to Nethermoor on Saturday (3pm) as they kick off their programme of friendlies.

The joint-manager says he is looking forward to welcoming Gary Bowyer's men. The two sides met in a friendly in July last year with Scott Smith scoring Guiseley's winner in a 2-1 triumph.

Bignot said: "We're really looking forward to seeing Bradford coming over on Saturday.

"This is a friendly that ticks all of the boxes; off the pitch to get the crowd in and with the calibre of opposition.

"We have built up good relationships with Gary Bowyer at Bradford. We've had good communication with them as we still need to recruit. They want to work with us going forward.

"I'm really happy with how pre-season has been going so far. But the best way to putting in a mentality and physical aspects to it is with games. We're looking to gain match fitness."

Meanwhile, Guiseley will face newly-promoted King's Lynn Town on the opening day of the new season in the Vanarama National League North on Saturday, August 3.

The lions also face local derby clashes against Bradford (Park Avenue) on August 6 away and at home on March 21, 2020 and newly-promoted Farsley Celtic, first at home on Boxing Day and away on New Year's Day.

Over Easter, Guiseley will entertain Blyth Spartans on Good Friday (April 10) and travel to Alfreton Town on Easter Monday three days later. They close their regular season at Curzon Ashton on April 25.

Bignot added: "To kick off with a home game is always good.

"Not too far away, on the first Tuesday of the season, we have our first derby against Bradford.

"It's good for everyone now the fixtures are out as we know that the season is round the corner."

Meanwhile, Alex Purver has left Guiseley to join Swedish top-flight side Ostersunds.

He joins a club formerly managed by Brighton boss Graham Potter. Guiseley tweeted: "We would like to thank Alex for his efforts over the last three years and wish him the best of luck for his future career, Lycka Till Alex!"

Guiseley have made five pre-season signings as they look to improve on last season's 19th-placed finish.

Experienced central defender Hamza Bencherif, 31, joins strikers Aaron Martin, 27, and Gabriel Johnson, 22, who were both at Brighouse Town last season, midfielder Jamie Spencer, 21, and Andrai Jones - the 27-year-old defender, a former Everton youth player.

The new faces join winger Kaine Felix, 24, and youngsters Tabish Hussain, 18, fullback/midfielder George Cantrill, 19, winger Scott Smith, 20, and defender Will Thornton, who were all with Guiseley last season but have all signed new contracts with the club.

Guiseley's 2019-20 league fixtures: August: 3 King’s Lynn Town (home), 6: Bradford (Park Avenue, away), 10: Southport (a), 13: Spennymoor Town (h), 17: Boston United (a), 24: Alfreton Town (h), 26: Blyth Spartans (a), 31: Curzon Ashton (h); September: 3 York City (h), 7 Chester (a), 14 Hereford (h), 28 Gloucester City (a); October: 12 Altrincham (h), 19 AFC Telford United (a), 26 Darlington (h); November: 2 Gateshead (a), 9 Kettering Town (a),16 Kidderminster Harriers (h), 30 Leamington (a); December: 7 Brackley Town (h), 21 Hereford (a), 26 Farsley Celtic (h), 28 York City (a); January: 1 Farsley Celtic (a), 4 Chester (h), 11 Altrincham (a), 18 Gloucester City (h), 25 Brackley Town (a); February: 1 Darlington (a), 8 AFC Telford United (h), 15 Kettering Town (a), 22 Gateshead (h), 29 Kidderminster Harriers (a); March: 7 Leamington (h), 14 King’s Lynn Town (a), 21 Bradford Park Avenue (h), 28 Spennymoor Town (a); April: 4 Southport (h), 10: Blyth Spartans (h), 13: Alfreton Town (a), 18: Boston United (h), 25: Curzon Ashton (a).