IT has been a busy summer at Rylands FC as they gear up for their first ever season in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

Having won the First Division South title next year, the Gorsey Lane side have made a number of additions to the backroom staff in support of co-managers Stuart Wellstead and Dave McNabb.

A notable addition is the return of former manager Darren Davies, who joins as a scout.

Davies was Blues boss for two years before his departure in February of last year.

Mike Smith – a former coach at Warrington Town – joins as first team coach, Ryan O’Neill has been recruited as a goalkeeping coach and Graeme Arkell will manage the club’s under 21s.

Rylands have also announced that they will be resurrecting the Peace Cup – an annual fixture that used to be played between Warrington Town and Northern Irish outfit Crewe United following the Warrington bombings in 1993.

The fixture has not been played since 2016 but Crewe United will travel to Gorsey Lane on Saturday, July 6.

Blues will also face pre-season trips to South Liverpool on July 9 and Pilkington on July 13 as they prepare for life in the North West Counties League’s top flight.

“We’ve got some big tests coming up in pre-season that should get us in good shape ahead of the new season,” captain Gary Kenny said.

“Like last season, we’ll be playing plenty of teams we know very little about.

“We’ve just got to take it game by game, turn up with the right attitude and see what it brings.”