PREVIEW: Harriers v Birmingham City

First published in Sport
Last updated

ASTON Villa fan Jack Byrne is looking forward to playing a key role for Harriers in tomorrow's highly anticipated friendly clash against Birmingham City.

The 26-year-old and fellow midfield compatriot Callum Gittings  are devout supporters of the Claret and Blue and are relishing a rare chance to play their Second City derby rivals.

Kidderminster itself is buzzing ahead of this friendly with a crowd in excess of 3,100 expected at Aggborough tomorrow (3pm ko).

By Friday afternoon, City's followers  had snapped up 2,200 of the 3,000 allocation, while over 800 Reds fans are set to back the hosts.

Fans can purchase still purchase tickets until 7pm tonight.

"I am looking forward to playing the Blues because I am a Villa fan," said Byrne.

"People always get up for games against bigger teams and that's what people enjoy.

"A lot of our lads our from the Midlands so there will probably be a lot of family coming to watch. It's a good occasion for everyone.

"Over the last four or five years I have been at the club we've played either Wolves or Albion so it's nice we are playing City."

Harriers have rewarded the efforts of trialists Jake Green and Reece Hales for their efforts in pre-season with one year deals.

Green is the younger brother of striker Matt, who guided Mansfield to the Conference Premier title two seasons go and now plays for Birmingham.

Hales, 19, is a product of City's academy and was released this summer.

Birmingham are bringing a strong squad but they will be without Paul Robinson and Jonathan Spector, who both have minor knocks.

Birmingham manager Lee Clarke said:  “I have said it before, something like that never ceases to amaze me with the fans.

"I don’t take it for granted, but that’s what I expect of them because their support has been that good.

"One of the reasons I’ve tried to keep some of the pre-season friendlies closer by, to where we are, is a thought process taking into account the fans, the costs of travelling etc.  “So this being more local to us and a good test, it gives the fans an opportunity to see the lads and some of the new players they might not have seen before.  "I’m not surprised by that support, but I am not taking it for granted, either.

He continued: “I obviously watched quite a bit of Harriers last year and they are a team who has always been there or thereabouts at the top end of the Conference.

"They are trying to push to get into the Football League.

"They have obviously been doing their own shopping in the summer and we have got a good link with them."

Fans unable to make the clash can follow all the action with The Shuttle's  live match updates from 2pm.

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