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New To The National League: Salford City

21 June 2018

The Peninsula Stadium Salford City FC
Salford City play at The Peninsula Stadium

We conclude our summer series looking at the new opponents joining us in the National League next season with a trip to see the Class of 92.

Formed: 1940
Nickname: The Ammies

Who’s in charge?
Graham Alexander took charge at Salford City in May after joint bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley opted to walk away from the club just four days after promotion.

Former Scotland international Alexander came through the ranks at Scunthorpe United where he made almost 200 appearances before moving on to Luton Town in 1995, staying with The Hatters for four years.

A right-back or holding midfielder by trade, Alexander then spent eight successful years at Preston North End where he clocked up 400 appearances, was club captain and became renowned for his set-pieces and penalty prowess.

His next stop was at Burnley where he was an ever-present in 2008/09 as Burnley claimed a place in the top flight via the play-offs and the following year, at 37, he became the oldest player to debut in the Premier League.

After a brief stint back in the colours of Preston, Alexander hung up his boots and began the transition in to coaching when he was handed a role in youth development at Deepdale.

His first managerial post came at Fleetwood Town whom he guided to promotion from League Two in 2013/14 before he returned to his first club Scunthorpe for a two-year spell in the dugout which came to an end in March.

Where do they play?
Moor Lane - now named The Peninsula Stadium - remains the home of Salford City but Pools supporters who made the trip there for the FA Cup tie in 2015 will see a very different looking stadium if they return for the National League meeting this term.

With four new stands now installed and a capacity of over 5,000, it’s effectively a new stadium and it was officially opened by Sir Alex Ferguson in October.

How did they get here?
Salford City won the National League North title last season to secure an impressive third promotion in four seasons and make it to the National League for the first time in the club’s history.

The Ammies finished six points ahead of second-placed Harrogate Town to clinch top spot having lost just seven of their 42 league games last term.

Having changed their manager and also revitalised their squad with a number of new arrivals already, it seems likely that they will be just as competitive when 2018/19 kicks-off in August.

With the backing of the ‘Class of 92’, Salford remain highly ambitious and their lofty rise to National League level seems unlikely to be the end of the story with eyes firmly set on a place in the EFL.

When did we last meet?
Pools and Salford City met in the 2015/16 FA Cup when a replay was needed to help us through against the Lancashire outfit at a time when three divisions separated the sides.

Rhys Oates had put Pools in front from the penalty spot in the original tie at Moor Lane only for Stephen O’Halloran to level things up and take the game to a replay at The Vic.

It was just as nervy back in the north east and it took extra time for Pools’ superior fitness to tell as goals from Scott Fenwick and Mikael Mandron broke the deadlock and sealed progress.

When do we play them?
The fixtures for the new National League season are due to be released on Wednesday 4th July.

Bates’ View
“Salford have done brilliantly to rise so rapidly up the pyramid and it’s going to be interesting to see how they go when they join the National League in 2018/19.

“They have had to change their manager but they have already been among the busiest in terms of transfer activity this summer so they could have a new look about them next term.

“I played in both the games against Salford in the FA Cup and they were very tricky games and perhaps we carried some fortune to get through – I am sure it will be just as difficult now we’re playing for points.

“The stadium has been revamped and they’re definitely gearing the club up for EFL football so I think they will be expecting to be up at the top competing for another promotion.”

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