THE confirmation of North One West fixtures is always an eagerly awaited event as it provides the scaffolding for coaches, players, club officials, members and supporters to begin building for the coming season.
Two games will bring a gleam to the eyes of the bean counters at the Vale of Lune in the shape of the visits of Kirkby Lonsdale and Fleetwood.
The prospect of two derby games in one season has been generating plenty of interest in both camps with a number of prospective sponsors showing interest once last season’s promotion and relegation issues had been confirmed.
The fixture against Sale FC is another that is certain to capture the imagination.
Sale FC carried the baton after Sale Sharks were formed as a fully professional outfit and still play at the famous Heywood Road ground in the traditional blue and white hoops colours.
Sale FC have blazed a trail through the leagues culminating in a record breaking season in South Lancashire and Cheshire One when they not only went through the season undefeated, claiming the try bonus point in every game but also denying their opponents any crumb of comfort in the shape of a losing bonus point.
After one season in National League Three North, Altrincham Kersal are returning to the welcoming arms of North One West.
They were victorious in their two meetings against the Vale in 2009/10, at home 27-15 and earlier in the season at Powder House Lane, 19-3.
At the moment the forthcoming season is only at the preparation stage but a glance at the menu will certainly whet the appetite and provide plenty to chew over and inwardly digest before the first dish is served up.
The Vale open their pre-season fixtures at home against Tyldesley, who finished fourth in South ancashire Cheshire One, on Saturday, August 11.
Their second game a week later will also be at home when Kendal, who were relegated from National League Two North at the end of last season, will be the visitors.
For their final game the Vale will travel to Yorkshire Division One club Ilkley on August 25.
A Vale A and Vikings squad will play at Penrith on August 18 with the return game against the Cumbrians being scheduled for the following week.
Vale of Lune 1st North One West Fixtures 2012/2013:
01 Altrincham Kersal Home
08 Wilmslow Away
15 Anselmians Home
22 Rochdale Home
29 Liverpool St Helens Away
06 Kirkby Lonsdale Home
13 Leigh Away
20 Manchester Home
27 Sale FC Away
03 Widnes Home
17 Wirral Away
24 Fleetwood Home
08 Carlisle Away
15 Wilmslow Home
05 Anselmians Away
12 Rochdale Away
19 Liverpool St Helens Home
26 Kirkby Lonsdale Away
09 Leigh Home
16 Manchester Away
02 Sale FC Home
09 Widnes Away
23 Wirral Home
06 Fleetwood Away
13 Carlisle Home
20 Altrincham Kersal Away