Hartlepool United open League Two season away to Rochdale

AWAY DAY: New Hartlepool United  boss Colin Cooper will begin the season with a trip to Rochdale
AWAY DAY: New Hartlepool United boss Colin Cooper will begin the season with a trip to Rochdale

HARTLEPOOL United will open their League Two campaign away to Rochdale.

The 2013-14 fixtures are to be officially unveiled on Wednesday morning but the Football League, celebrating its 125th anniversary, have today given football fans a little taster of what is to come.

Rochdale v Pools on Saturday, August 3, is one of the games the Football League have released early.

It means an away start for new boss Colin Cooper who was appointed last month to replace John Hughes who was dismissed following relegation from League One.

The Football League have announced six matches – two in each of their three divisions.

The fixtures either feature a number of the founder members of the league or pairings of historical significance.

In the Championship, four founder members will go head-to-head with Derby County hosting Blackburn Rovers while there is a Lancashire derby between Burnley and Bolton Wanderers.

Deepdale, a ground which has staged 2,342 Football League games, will host a meeting of founder members Preston North End and Wolverhampton Wanderers clashing in League One.

Also in League One, the world’s oldest Football League club, Notts County will visit the world’s oldest professional football ground – Bramall Lane, home of Sheffield United.

In League Two, Accrington Stanley will visit The Football League’s newest ground and newest member – Rodney Parade the home of the re-formed Newport County.

And when Pools visit Spotland, it will be the 137th encounter between the two clubs.

In announcing the 125th Anniversary fixtures, Football League Chairman Greg Clarke said: “For 125 years, Football League clubs have delivered a compelling spectacle, week after week.

“In the process, attracting a total audience of more than 2.2 billion people and building indelible relationships with their local communities.

“Our clubs and their supporters are the heartbeat of the domestic game, giving English league football a breadth and popularity that is unrivalled anywhere in the world.

“We look forward to celebrating 125 years of incredible matches, unforgettable moments and intense footballing rivalry.”

The remainder of the 2013-14 Football League fixture programme will be announced after 9am tomorrow.

SEE www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk tomorrow for the North-East club fixtures