HUNDREDS of school pupils will get the chance to see Aston Villa’s stars of the future when they face Stratford Town at the Arden Garages Stadium on Saturday.
As one of the initiatives to strengthen the ties with the community, Town have given out 500 free tickets to six schools in the area for their friendly against the Premier League newcomers.
The move, courtesy of director Jed McCrory, aims to increase the interest in Town, following last season’s best-ever campaign, as they prepare for the 2019-2020 term which starts on 10th August.
The six schools given the complementary tickets are Stratford School, Henley School, Shipston High, Alcester Academy, Studley High and Pershore High.
Town manager Tommy Wright says such initiatives will be important to take the club forward.
“It’s a great gesture from Jed,” said Wright. “It’s nice to do something for the community, and raise awareness of the football club.
“To keep moving forward, we need to get more and more people watching us and being part of what we want to do.”
Meanwhile, Wright hopes to complete two new signings ahead of the Villa game as he finalises his squad.
He has been assessing several trialists and two have already done enough to earn deals and talks are in progress.
Others are set to feature against Villa to get the chance to convince Wright their future lies with Town.
He expects Villa, who are likely to send a youthful side, to provide a real test as Stratford seek a third friendly win in a row.
“Playing Villa will be another test, playing full-time professionals. We will learn a lot about the boys,” he added.
Admission for the Villa game will be £5 for adults, £2 for under 18s and under-12s will be admitted free with a paying adult.