Neighbourhood bragging rights will be high on the agenda when Grimsby come to Valley Parade.

Two players will need no extra incentive for a game that appears to have little going for it.

Forget league positions, Saturday's clash will be all about local pride for Mark Bower and Paul Bolland.

They grew up together, both went to St Bede's School and broke into the City ranks at the same time - and even though Bolland may be a regular for the Mariners, they live round the corner from each other.

Bower said: "I speak to him all the time. We've got kids the same age and see each other quite regularly, "We were in the same first, middle and upper schools - although I was always the much cleverer one - and we've always kept in touch.

"We would still talk regularly when he moved away to Notts County and then Grimsby and now he's back round the corner there has been a bit of banter flying about."

Bower recently went to Wembley to watch his pal skipper Grimsby in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final against MK Dons.

The City defender said: "A few of us went down to watch the game the day after we'd beaten Darlington. I was sat there thinking about our outside hopes of making the play-offs but unfortunately it didn't happen.

"It was a great day for Grimsby, although a couple of decisions went against them."

Ironically Danny Boshell, another St Bede's old boy, missed a penalty for the Mariners before MK Dons went on to win 2-0.

Grimsby's form has tailed off shockingly since their Wembley day out but Bower knows one player who will be desperate to put that right at Valley Parade.

He said: "Bolly has played here once before with Notts County in the Carling Cup and won. He certainly enjoyed that night but this will be the first time he's been back for a proper league game and he'll obviously want to do well.

"We'll get together again after the game and I'm sure we'll have a laugh but for 90 minutes that friendship will go out the window."

Bolland missed the Blundell Park draw in October through injury, although there was a member of the family on the pitch - his daughter Eve was the match mascot.

"I'll have quite a few family members in the stands so I hope I have a good game - and maybe even get a chance of a goal!" said Bolland.

"It's the fixture I looked for first at the start of the season when they came out, although I expect a lot of the clubs in League Two felt the same after Bradford got relegated last season.

"That may be why they haven't had their best results at home. Teams will go there and fancy it in front of the big crowd."

Bolland started only six times for City but expects to see several familiar faces this weekend, including Stuart McCall.

"Bolly's a good lad and been a good professional over the years," said the City boss.

"I know he's also doing a bit of coaching and he even took my little 'un for a training session."

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