PICKERING Town are keeping football in Ryedale with their opening fixtures of pre-season, chairman Wayne Taylor has enthused.

The Pikes kick off their pre-season preparations with a trip to Ryedale Sports Club on Thursday, July 1 before visiting Kirkbymoorside on Tuesday, July 6.

Both are 7.30pm kick offs against the newitts.com Beckett League outfits.

“It’s a nice bond between the three clubs,” commented Taylor.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve done that and I thought it was time now to build this bridge again and keep the football in Ryedale.”

Another team the Pikes are boosting bonds with is Hull City, whose under-23s have been added to Pickering’s list of warm-up matches.

The Tigers visit Mill Lane on Wednesday, July 28 ahead of the start of Pickering’s Northern Premier League east division campaign.

Pickering have enjoyed close ties with Hull, who have furnished Town with loan stars such as keepers Charlie Andrew and Harrison Foulkes, as well as left-back Matty Jacob.

There is a chance manager Steve Roberts could use this next meeting to scope out another short-term deal.

Taylor added: “We’re making good ties with Hull City now with a couple of their lads coming down from their under-23s to see what they’ve got.”

Meanwhile, Taylor is warming up for a Three Peaks fundraising walk next Saturday (July 3).

“I’m training a lot - I’m walking around the golf course every day,” he laughed when asked about his preparations. “I’m doing about five miles - but that’s mainly looking for my balls!

“We’re looking forward to it. It should be good. I’m not looking forward to the after-effects but the day itself, as long as the weather’s good, should be a good one.”

Defensive midfielder Will Taylor has returned from the US to rejoin the Pikes squad for next season.

The Pikes are hosting open trials for their U23s on Sunday, July 11 at Malton Sports Centre, starting at 10.30am. Registration closes on July 7.

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