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D-Day derby clash mooted for rivals

By Braintree Chronicle  |  Posted: June 14, 2012

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BRAINTREE Town could be playing local arch rivals Chelmsford City in a pre-season friendly which would attract a bigger than usual crowd and also generate income for both clubs prior to the Blue Square Bet League season's kick-off in August.

The surprise move for a local derby game emerged after City approached Iron chairman Lee Harding to see whether they would be interested in such a pre-season encounter.

The Iron have not played since they were both in the Blue Square Bet South during the 2010-11 season when both games were fiercely fought which ended with the Iron being promoted and City losing in the play-offs.

The Iron beat City 3-0 in the first game played at the Amlin Stadium in August 2010 watched by a crowd of 1,265 and the return league fixture in February attracted 1,710 at Melbourne Stadium in a game that ended 0-0.

"We have had an approach from City for a game and I'm sure it would generate a great deal of interest and of course money too equally shared between the clubs," explained Harding. "Obviously we would like to help our neighbours if we can but it's a question of fitting such a game in during pre-season."

The Iron already have attractive home friendly matches against Southend Utd, Ipswich Town and Dagenham & Redbridge in their eight game pre-season programme.

"We might be able to arrange it for a Thursday evening instead of training but we're waiting for City to come back to us on a possible date for the game," he said. "We're not worried whether it's at our place or at Melbourne because it will attract a good crowd and we would share the gate receipts which again would help boost both clubs' coffers."

Harding went on: "We all know that games between the two clubs are always entertaining and create a lot of interest too which has been missing since were promoted to the Blue Square Bet Premier."

Harding is also reminding Iron supporters that the special season ticket discount offer closes this Friday – an adult ground season ticket for example is available for £255 which is a £90 discount.

"We've already had a good take up on season tickets, which probably reflects the successful season we had, but anyone who wants the discount which equates to seeing seven home league games free, have to buy them by the end of Friday from the clubhouse," he explained.

Meanwhile manager Alan Devonshire continues to talk to potential players although there are no confirmed new signings at the moment.

"I'm talking to players all the time and there are many players out there looking for club," he said. "But I know what we want and the kind of players we need to strengthen the squad and I shall take my time."

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