PARKGATE are relishing the chance to take on the Millers again today, with manager Andy Dawson admitting: “It's a massive game for our club.”
The July date at Roundwood has become a fixture on the pre-season calendar, giving Rotherham United's pros a first chance of competitive action after two months off.
But it is also an important proving ground for Gate's semi-professionals ahead of their Northern Counties East League campaign. It also brings much-needed funds and can help attract new supporters.
Dawson, a former Parkgate player, said: “I played in this fixture and it's a great thing for any semi-pro to test their wits against a team in League One and formerly the Championship.
“It's a massive thing for our club and raises our profile, getting people down to Roundwood who possibly haven't been down there before. It's also a great advertisement for non-league football.”
With no counter attractions like last year, organisers are hoping for a good crowd for what is an important revenue raiser for the host club. Gate will also field a clutch of new signings and are intent on winning promotion back to the top flight of the NCEL.
“The problem last year was that the game fell on the same day as the England playing Sweden in the World Cup and that affected the attendance massively” added Andy. “When I played in the match four or five years ago we were getting on for 2,000 in the ground and we would love that to be the case again.
“We've done a lot of advertising and our social media has massively improved over the last season. We want to make people aware of what we're trying to create here."
Kick-off is 1pm and admission is by pay on the gate only, at £6 (adults) and £4 (concessions). Match programmes are £1.50.