Source: MEN Stuart Brennan
FC UNITED will be on familiar territory when they play their first FA Cup game after drawing an away tie at either Trafford or Atherton LR.
The Rebels faced both teams in the North West Counties League last season, putting 14 goals past Atherton in their two fixtures but only squeaking a 1-0 draw at Trafford and being held 4-4 at Gigg Lane. Those two clubs meet in the extra preliminary round on August 18.
And if FC, playing in the competition for the first time, come through the preliminary round, on September 1, they face a big task in the first round qualifying - a trip to play upwardly-mobile Fleetwood Town, who finished fifth in the UniBond League premier division last season after two successive promotions.
Says FC manager Karl Marginson: "It's a good draw for us. Trafford are no pushovers as they showed last season when they came back from 4-1 down with 15 minutes left at our place to draw. They have lost manager Danny Johnson to Ashton United, but one of our former players Tony Coyne has gone there as assistant to Ged Kielty.
"The only problem is we are supposed to have a pre-season friendly against them. We might have to bin that, because we don't want to give them any money to spend on players they can use against us!"
Marginson says there will be minimal comings and goings this summer, the only possible additions being former Radcliffe defender Dave Luker and Salford City's ex-Bolton youth team defender Dale Whitehead.
Meanwhile, a trip into football history awaits FC United in their first FA Trophy campaign, with a preliminary round draw away to one of the world's oldest clubs, Bradford Park Avenue, founded in 1863. A win in that tie, against fellow UniBond first division north opponents, would line up a home game against the oldest club in the world, Sheffield FC.
FA CUP DRAW (local clubs only) Preliminary round (Sept 1): Cheadle Town v Ashton Town or Ramsbottom; Chorley v Warrington Town; Rossington Main or Atherton Colls v Abbey Hey or Bacup Boro; Colwyn Bay v Daisy Hill or Congleton; Blackpool Mechs or Maine Road v Skelmersdale; Chadderton or Winsford v Squires Gate or Penrith Radcliffe v Lancaster City; Trafford or Atherton LR v FC United;Woodley Sports v Mossley; Flixton or Bootle v Salford City or Padiham; Bamber BRidge v Formby or Oldham Town; Stocksbridge PS v Curzon Ashton.
First round qualifying (Sept 15): Rossendale United or Dinnington Town or Maltby Main v Chadderton or Winsford United or Squires Gate or Penrith; Flixton or Bootle or Salford City or Padiham v Bamber Bridge or Formby or Oldham Town; Fleetwood Town v Trafford or Atherton LR or FC United; Witton Albion v Prescot Cables; Hallam or Nelson or AFC Emley or Darwen v Woodley Sports or Mossley; Frickley Athletic v Stocksbridge PS or Curzon Ashton; Colne or Nantwich Town v Ashton United; Chorley Town or Warrington Town v Clitheroe or Holker Old Boys or St Helens; Colwyn Bay or Daisy Hill or Congleton Town v Brodsworth MW or Parkgate or Alsager Town; Blackpool Mechanics or Maine Road or Skelmersdale United v Marine; Radcliffe Borough or Lancaster City v Cammell Laird or Sheffield; Rossington Main or Atherton Collieries or Abbey Hey or Bacup Borough v Cheadle Town or Ashton Town or Ramsbottom Utd.
FA TROPHY DRAW Preliminary round (Oct 6): Bradford PA v FC United; Cammell Laird v Curzon Ashton; Warrington Town v Rossendale United; Woodley Sports v Newcastle BS; Sutton Coldfield v Radcliffe. First round qualifying (Oct 20): Spalding Utd or Romulus v Warrington or Rossendale; Harrogate Railway v Sutton Coldfield or Radcliffe; Mossley v Rushall Olympic or Carlton Town; Colwyn Bay v Woodley or Newcastle BS; Witton Albion v Ashton Utd; Chorley v Cammell Laird or Curzon; Bradford PA or FC United v Sheffield.