Duns to open pitch v MCFC Academy

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Duns FC are to open their New Hawthorn Park pitch on Monday, July 28.

The club has pencilled in two other pre-season friendlies, against Berwick Rangers and Selkirk’s Lowland League side, but the first ‘official’ match will be against the Manchester City FC Academy side, and the game will kick off at 7.30pm.

Chairman Colin Pike, who arranged the game with the help of his daughter Natalie - she works for Manchester City TV - says the date has been agreed, but further details have yet to be confirmed.

“The Academy are looking to travel to Croatia shortly,” he said, “so they are pretty much tied up with the arrangements for that at the moment.

“But I have spoken with City’s head of Academy and a date has been agreed.

“I think they are due to play one other game in Scotland around the same time, and the reason we were able to tie it up was down to the fact that we said we operated a youth system, which they are keen to encourage.”

Extensive work has been carried out at the park over the past few months, with the laying of a new pitch and erection of a perimiter fence.

Over the coming weeks a spectators’ fence will be erected around the side of the pitch, with pathways and a hard-standing area, with wheelchair access provided.

“I have been told most of the work will be done by the beginning of July,” said Colin, “so it will all be looking good for the opening night.”

Duns plan to make a special occasion of the event, with a marquee due to be erected and the possible unfurling of the original Duns FC flag, which was recently returned to their possession.

“We still need to find a flagpole,” admitted Colin, “but I think we might have found one.

“Everything is coming together nicely - it’s certainly a big change to how the site looked a year ago.”

Meanwhile, the club will hold their end of season presentation night on Saturday, June 7 at the White Swan in Duns, starting at 7.30pm.