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Match Previews


13 July 2016

Latics head to Chester FC for opening pre-season friendly.

  • Latics kick off pre-season friendlies at Chester FC.
  • Gary Caldwell takes his side into first of seven summer fixtures.
  • Latics in action last Saturday in behind closed doors practice match.

Pre-Season Friendly
Chester FC v Wigan Athletic
Wednesday 13 July 2016, kick off 7.30pm
at Lookers Vauxhall Stadium


Wigan Athletic kick off their pre-season campaign away to Chester FC on Wednesday evening, with Gary Caldwell's side travelling to Lookers Vauxhall Stadium following a week long training camp in Portugal, which was rounded off by a 0-0 draw against Portuguese Primeira Liga side SC Braga in a behind closed doors practice match.

The upcoming clash with non-league Chester FC will be the first opportunity for supporters to see Caldwell's side in action since the final game of the 2015-16 season and the Sky Bet League One trophy lift against Barnsley.

Tonight's fixture could also see the introduction of summer signings Alex Gilbey and Dan Burn, and the re-introduction of Stephen Warnock, who signed permanently for the club after his successful spell on loan from Derby County, as well as the recently returned Nick Powell, whose signing was confirmed on Tuesday evening after his contract had expired at Manchester United.

The hosts arrive back at Lookers Vauxhall Stadium off the back of a 4-0 victory away to Sandbach United in their first pre-season friendly, as they build-up to their opening National League clash at Gateshead on August 6.


It's been a busy couple of months for Chester's recently appointed manager Jon McCarthy and his assistant Ian Sharps, after the pair were given the task of steering the Blues into the 2016-17 season following the departure of Steve Burr in April.

McCarthy, who featured for the likes of York City, Port Vale and Birmingham City during his playing days, has already started the process of re-shaping Chester's squad, bringing in defenders Evan Horwood (Northampton Town), Ross Killock (Leeds United), Blaine Hudson (Wrexham) and Theo Vassell (loan from Walsall), as well as goalkeeper Liam Roberts (loan from Walsall) and striker Elliott Durrell who finished last season at Tamworth's top goal scorer in National League North.

A couple of standout departures saw John Rooney leave for local rivals Wrexham, as well as last season's top marksman Ross Hannah who made the switch to fellow National League side Barrow.

Chester's most frequent transfer activity has been in keeping players from last season, including new contracts for James Alabi, Jordan Chappell, Luke George, Kane Richards, Johnny Hunt and former Latics youth player Ryan Astles.

CHESTER IN 2015/16

The Blues finished 17th in the National League after a mixed season which had seen them floating around mid-table, until a downturn in form saw them drop towards the relegation zone heading into the final stages of the campaign.

Leading scorer Hannah netted 22 times during the season, including two in Chester's final three matches as the Blues defeated Welling 4-0, eventual promotion winners Grimsby Town 2-1 and 2016-17 opening day opponents Gateshead 4-2, crucial consecutive victories which bumped them up to 54 points.


There are four current Latics links shared across the two clubs, with Latics' assistant manager and former midfielder Graham Barrow (now entering his eighth consecutive season on the coaching staff) a former boss at Chester between 1992-1994 and during the 2000-2001 campaign.

Midfielder Danny O'Brien is also currently part of Latics' Development Squad, having featured nine times for Chester last season, a spell which saw him score on his club debut against Altrincham.

Chester's squad itself includes to ex-Latics players, the aforementioned Astles, who joined the Blues last season, was once in Latics' youth team, whilst forward Craig Mahon featured in both the Under 18s and reserves during our time in the Premier League and is now entering his fourth season for the club.


Latics and Chester have met 23 times in senior competitions since their first meeting in the FA Cup in 1966, with 11 victories for Latics, eight victories for Chester and four draws.

The last professional meeting between the two sides added to the low tally of draws after Ian Kilford cancelled out David Flitcroft's opener to earn a 1-1 draw in April 1997, unfortunately Kilford was given his marching orders before full time.

A 6-3 victory for Latics at Springfield Park in October 1993 is the highest scoring meeting with the Blues, as David McKearney, Pat Gavin, Keith Gillespie (2), Alan Johnson and Paul Rennie all hit the target, whilst Paul Wheeler (2) and Mark Leonard hit back for the visitors.

  • LIVE COVERAGE: Listen live on Latics PlayerHD or follow text updates on Latics Wall.
  • PRE-SEASON: See Latics' full schedule of friendlies this summer.
  • TRAINING: Step inside the new Wigan Athletic Training Centre.


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