Evo-Stik League club Whitby Town are preparing to welcome Newcastle United, Celtic and AZ Alkmaar to the Turnbull Ground as they host the inaugural Whitby Town Challenge Cup.
Newcastle and Celtic kick off the tournament on Thursday night, before the hosts face Dutch side AZ Alkmaar on Friday.
The Third and Fourth place play-off and final take place on Saturday, with the Seasiders hoping to see big crowds through the gates over the three days.
Whitby boss Chris Hardy hopes that the tournament will help put the club on the map.
He said “We’re set to take on some of football’s biggest names and all of us on the playing side of things are relishing the challenge. It’s a great chance for us to put the club on the map.
“In terms of generating interest ahead of a season where we’re aiming for play-offs and promotion, it couldn’t be better. To see the Turnbull Ground packed with 2,000 people inside, in pre-season, would be fantastic.”
Both Newcastle United and Celtic are expected to bring some of their brightest young stars for the tournament.
The Magpies will be led by former England star Peter Beardsley and he believes the tournament offers his side a chance to develop against high-class opposition.
Speaking to the Whitby Gazette he said “For us, it’s the perfect chance to give our boys the experience of playing against a top professional side in Celtic, and potentially a non-league side in Whitby Town.
“To be fair, it’s something that we try and open up to the lads.
“We do play, with all due respect, non-league teams as we like them to get to grips with the physical aspect of the game.
“Hopefully we’ll get past Celtic and meet Whitby in the final. It would be great for Whitby, with all due respect, and it would be good experience for us.
“In terms of the distance between Whitby and Newcastle, and the locality of the sides, it would make the perfect final.”
Tickets prices for the fixtures have been set at £10 for adults, £6 for concessions and £3 for children. For more information and to book, visit the Whitby Town’s official website at www.whitby-town.com.
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Image: Reuters Media