Guys, the season is just one month and tonight, we can actually begin the buildup. Bolton Wanderers will play their first match in over two months tonight as they travel to Somerset Park in Ayr, Scotland to face Ayr United. Somerset Park holds just over 10,000 people and is home to the third-tier Scottish side. Ayr were relegated from the second tier in playoffs at the end of last season.
The Honest Men, as they're called, are now led by player-manager Mark Roberts who has featured as a striker for Ayr from 2009 on. In 113 appearances, he's scored 42 times. So far in their own preseason campaign, Ayr have beaten Scottish amateur side Queens Park and SPL side Motherwell while losing 4-1 to Partick Thistle of the first division.
Bolton Wanderers should use this match as a way to ease players back into playing while giving the new boys in Andy Lonergan, Keith Andrews, and Matt Mills a chance to get some game time with their teammates. Last year, Bolton kicked off their preseason against NASL side (United States second division) Tampa Bay Rowdies where lost 1-0.
Speaking of the fixture, Ayr United manager Roberts said:
"Bolton were a Premiership side last year, have fantastic calibre and I am sure they will fight their way back up this year.
"It is a fantastic opportunity for our young players and experienced players to play against the like of Bolton."
While Assistant Manager Sandy Stewart told the official website:
"Ayr are a good club and over the course of recent years have mostly played in the Scottish First Division.
"They will provide good opposition for our first game and knowing, from when I played in Scotland and English clubs came up, they will definitely raise their game."
Here's hoping that no one gets hurt and COYWM!