Consett welcome old boys back to Belle View as Stockton Town provide our first pre-season opposition

Consett could meet some familiar faces as they take on Stockton Town in their opening pre-season game this Saturday.

The match, which kicks off at 1.30pm so supporters can get home in time for England v Switzerland at 5pm, could see Michael Sweet, Josh Baggs and Arjun Purewal return to Belle View.

Arj, a former club captain, made 249 Consett appearances over seven years before deciding to leave for pastures new at the end of last season.

Sweety scored 128 goals in 173 games for us between 2015-19, before moving on to Blyth Spartans, while Baggsy played 37 games in our colours before joining Stockton’s promotion push in January.

The Anchors are preparing for life in the NPL Premier Division, after going up via the play-offs, where they beat Dunston in the final.

They’ve retained most of their promotion-winning squad, including long-term centre-back pairing Adam Nicholson and Tom Coulthard, midfielders Glen Butterworth and Stephen Thompson, and strikers Michael Fowler and Kevin Hayes.

Games between the Steelmen and the Anchors have traditionally been entertaining affairs: last season Stockton won 3-2 at their place on Boxing Day after we led twice, and we drew 2-2 at Belle View on April 1 to dent their title hopes.

It’s the first chance for Consett fans to see some of our summer signings, who include Isaac Walker, Marc Costello, Shay Richardson, Jordan Patterson and Adam Lennox, as well as goalkeeper James Anderson, who has made his loan move from Morpeth Town permanent.

Admission is cash only at the turnstile, priced £7 for adults, £5 for over-65s and £2 for under-16s.

Gary Welford