Sheffield United: Wilder out to get one over on old pal Parkinson on first day of new season

Chris Wilder, Blades boss
Chris Wilder, Blades boss
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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is looking forward to getting one over on an old friend when his side travel to Bolton Wanderers on the opening day of the new League One season.

Wilder, who took over from Nigel Adkins at Bramall Lane last month, has known Bolton’s new boss Phil Parkinson since his teens and is looking forward to getting started at the Macron Stadium on August 6.

“It’s a great first game for us,” the former Northampton Town boss said.

“There’s not a lot of travelling for the fans and it’s against a real big hitter... two of the biggest clubs in the division going head-to-head on the opening day. There’s two new managers and sets of staff, too, and it’s one we can really look forward to.

“I’ve known Phil since I was 15, so we go way back; Alan Knill, my assistant, knows him well, too. I also played with Lee Butler, who’s their goalkeeping coach, and Phil’s assistant Steve Parkin is a mad Blades fan. So there’s lots of connections.

“Fixture release day is a day we’ve been looking forward to for a while now. Now we know that we’re close to business. We can’t get carried away just yet, but there are some cracking games for us to get our teeth into.”

United will host Crewe at Bramall Lane in the first round of the EFL Cup.

United are at home on Boxing Day, against Oldham Athletic, and on New Year’s Eve, against Wilder’s old club Northampton.

Their derby clashes against Chesterfield - who announced the signing of United’s former striker Ched Evans earlier this week - come on November 12, at the Proact, and the final day of the season - April 30 - at Bramall Lane.