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9 months ago By Stevie R

Blues open their league season with a difficult looking trip to league new-boys Alvechurch.

The West Midlands based side won the Midland League Championship last season twelve months after being pipped at the post by Hereford despite amassing over 100 points.

Consequently Alvechurch boast a formidable home record having lost only 4 of their last 42 matches at their Lye Meadow ground.

For Leek manager Neil Baker it will be his first competitive fixture since returning to the dug-out, but he was keen to play down that fact telling the Sentinel.

“Yes, it's good to be back managing at Leek again, but it's not all about me tomorrow, it's a big day for the club and a big day for the players, they are the ones out there on the pitch.

“Alvechurch will be aiming to win the game, so we've got to be on our toes, especially in the early stages and make sure we impose ourselves and keep them quiet. Then we'll see where it goes."

Baker has been boosted ahead of the game by the news that three of his players have recovered from injury and will be available.

Strikers Tim Grice (hamstring), Johnny Higham (ankle) and midfielder Dan Shelley (calf) have been declared fit for action, but Sam Grimshaw (ankle) who was injured last week at Buxton won't be available.

However with Chris Budrys, Jordan Johnson and Rob Stevenson all returning from holiday, Baker admits he will have a selection headache, but is not complaining.

“It's a nice headache to have, managers want all their best players available and a near full strength squad to choose from.

“It's particularly good news that Gricey has recovered from his slight hamstring problem.

"He was our leading scorer last term and has had a good pre-season, so that's a real positive."

As usual there will be match updates live form Alvechurch on our Twitter service and full, reports, photos and reaction from the game over the weekend on this website.

Updated 18:48 - 12 Aug 2017 by Stevie R

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