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The youngsters of Chester-le-Street United’s first team squad will prepare for their upcoming second season in the Ebac Northern League Division 2 with a host of tough but highly attractive friendly games.

They start on Saturday 8th July with a trip to Scotland to take on Scottish Lowland League side Gretna and finish their pre-season on Saturday 22nd July with an away game at Ebac Northern League Division 1 Tow Law Town.

But it’s the two games in-between at The Riverside, Chester-le-Street, that really whet the appetite as on Monday 17th July Hartlepool United Under-18’s will come to Chester-le-Street for a 13:00pm kick-off.

But the first home game marking United’s return to The Riverside following the construction of the brand new Gary Brown Stand and the outstanding new floodlight installation, yes we have floodlights!, sees EFL Championship side Middlesbrough send their youngsters to take on United’s first team. Chester le Street United are a club proud to be established with the purpose of producing players, giving young people a chance to progress and play at an even higher level whilst introducing them to senior team football.

Last season with the youngest ever squad to turn out in the illustrious history of The Northern League the first team secured a very respectable mid-table finish proving that our project to have several under 18 age players team featuring is testimony to the talent at our disposal.

Several of these lads will undertake a second season in the Northern League as we look to develop them whilst bringing in more young and first year players to bolster and enhance the squad.

With this in mind we are delighted to welcome Middlesbrough Academy to the Riverside for our first game back at Chester le Street since we renovated the facilities to meet the FA ground grading guidelines which will enable us to make our return home.

We will be honoured to welcome the Middlesbrough squad led by Craig Liddle. Liddle will return to The Riverside, a site that was once home to his Darlington FC when they trained here full time during the George Reynolds era.

With the recently announced appointment of the vastly experience and knowledgeable Michael Nelson as Head Coach alongside continuing Manager John Gamble our players will be coached full time with the view to installing professional standards throughout their United career.

It is therefore a wonderful opportunity for United to be taking on Middlesbrough and we thank them for giving us the chance to play them in what will be a great early test for our lads in pre-season as well as giving ‘Boro a chance to assess their strength in depth.

A terrific game is in prospect that will help all at United see where they are and could aspire to as they look to the season ahead. We then follow that up two days later with the visit of Hartlepool United’s academy side. Pools slipped out of the EFL unfortunately last season but are determined to bounce back at the first time of asking. The squad they’ll be sending will be all out to prove that they deserve a place in the first team set-up as they look for an immediate return to The EFL.

Tickets for both these prestigious friendly encounters are priced at £3 and can be purchased below:-

Before the season begins don't forget to purchase your season tickets, these offer tremendous value for money, season tickets are priced at:-

£50 adults and £30 concessions/juniors

**club coaches and players access for free (with valid members card)**

A season ticket grants you access to all league home games.

Normal admission is £5 for adults and £3 for concessions/juniors.

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