ALDERSHOT Town are to warm up for the kick-off of the new Conference season in the best possible style by pitting their wits against two Premiership giants.
Shots chairman Karl Prentice has exclusively revealed to the News that the club's pre-season campaign will end with high-profile visits of Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in early August, thus guaranteeing two sell-out crowds and, subsequently, massive pay-days.
The Tottenham game, confirmed for Saturday August 2 — a week before the season's start — is the icing on the cake to a tough nine-game schedule which also sees the Shots entertain Watford and Oxford United.
Details of the now annual Chelsea visit, however, were delayed because of Chelsea's Champions League uncertainties. But now their European destiny has been decided, following their 2-1 win over Liverpool on Saturday, plans are underway to organise the game, possibly in that last week leading up to the big kick-off.
Last year, of course, as a result of the Chelsea reserves deal, Claudio Ranieri brought a full Chelsea first team to the Rec, where the Blues entertained a near capacity crowd with scintillating football.
Mr Prentice said: "It's a very exciting pre-season campaign — one where we hope to attract some big crowds, especially with Tottenham and Chelsea visiting.
"There are some really attractive games lined up, and another one to be confirmed, but we certainly hope it will wet the supporter's appetites for the season ahead."
The Shots start their pre-season campaign on Tuesday July 15 where two games in two days sees the Shots hit the road to Staines Town and Feltham before Watford are entertained for the first home friendly on Saturday July 19.
Another big crowd-pulling friendly is close to being arranged at the Rec for Tuesday 22 before the Shots hit the road south to take on Eastleigh on Friday July 25 and Havant & Waterlooville the following afternoon.
It's back at the Rec again on Tuesday July 29 when Oxford are the visitors before Brown and his men go out in style with the visit of Tottenham that Saturday and Chelsea at a date to be arranged.
All these friendlies, bar the Chelsea game, can be watched free of charge by supporters who take the club up on their season ticket discount offer, which ends today (Friday).
Over 500 fans already have, and will benefit largely, so to purchase your season tickets at the cheapest possible rate, fans are being urged to hurry.
Once the brand new computerised turnstiles at the High Street end begin clicking in time for that Watford game on July 19, fans will have noticed a few changes around the Rec with new toilets installed and a general tidy up of the ground complete.
The club are still looking for fans to volunteer their services, however, to help get the Rec spic and span for the start of the Conference campaign.
l Don't forget, the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Southampton will be shown on the big screen in the new social club this Saturday, doors open at 12 noon. Everyone is welcome to attend.