Kettering Town are ready to make their first appearance of the summer at Latimer Park tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm) – and it will all be in the name of charity.
They take on Poppy Mai North FC, a team set up in memory of Poppy Mai – a 17-month-old from Blackburn who tragically died at the beginning of May from a rare and aggressive brain tumour.
All proceeds from the match on Saturday will go to the charity.
Poppy’s parents – Andy and Sammi – are hoping to launch ‘Poppy’s Field’ – an outdoor space for terminally ill children to spend their final days with family.
Poppies boss Marcus Law confirmed his first-team squad will be taking to the field for the charity match after they maintained their 100 per cent record in pre-season with a 4-3 win at Arlesey Town on Tuesday night thanks to goals from Gary Mulligan, Spencer Weir-Daley, Wilson Carvalho and Nathan Bobowicz.
He said: “It is a fixture that the chairman (Ritchie Jeune) has organised and it is a very good cause.
“The team was set up in her memory and it just shows the power the sport has.
“Hopefully we can help raise a good amount of funds and provide them all with a good day.
“The pitch was obviously well used during the latter stages of the season and we are keen to give the groundsman the best chance to have it in perfect condition.
“So we do have to restrict the number of home matches we play during pre-season.
“But our first-team players will be involved and hopefully a lot of fans will come out and have a look to see how we are progressing.”
Kettering, meanwhile, confirmed the signing of midfielder Nathan Hicks ahead of the midweek trip to Arlesey.
Hicks has been training with the club since pre-season started and has impressed in a holding midfield role during the friendlies.
Law added: “Nathan has done well. We have been looking at him in a more deeper role than he might be normally used to.
“But I think anyone who has seen him will have been impressed with how he has performed.
“Good footballers will always adapt and he has shown he is capable of doing that.
“It’s now up to him to keep working away and reach his full potential.”