SHEFFIELD UNITED: Brotherly banter for a friendly family affair

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HARRY Maguire, the Sheffield United centre-half, has insisted there will be no room for sentiment when Danny Wilson’s side begin their pre-season schedule at Ilkeston tonight.

Maguire’s brother, Joe, plays for the non-league team who are also expected to include Wilson’s son, Laurie, in their starting 11.

“It will be interesting to say the least,” Maguire admitted. “I’m sure the banter will be non-stop before and afterwards but during the game we’ll both be focused on doing our jobs.

“Obviously I see and speak to Joe every day and there’s already been plenty of banter.

“All the family will be there but hopefully United are going to come out on top.”

United travel to Malta on Friday for a week-long training camp before resuming their domestic schedule at neighbours Rotherham United. “It’s going to be tough and hard work,” added Maguire.

“But we know how beneficial it is in the long run.”

Wilson, whose team return to competitive action when Burton Albion visit Bramall Lane for a Capital One Cup first round tie next month, said: “Laurie is a big powerful lad who is strong in the air.

“Just like his dad in fact.

“He signed for Ilkeston last season and has been playing non-league for a number of years now.

“He thoroughly enjoys it.”

Wilson added: “The missus won’t be there, though.

“She won’t turn up because I think her stomach would be wrenching too much.

“There is also a certain player in their team who is related to one of our defenders so it should be a good game as both of us look to impress.”

Meanwhile, United have confirmed they will face Zejtun Corinthians (Monday) and Hibernians (Wednesday) during their tour of Malta next week.

The meeting with Corinthians is scheduled to take place at Ta’Qali’s training complex before the clash with MPL outfit Hibernians in Paola. (both 7.30pm).

United face Hallam FC on August 2 - 48 hours after appearing at Rotherham’s New York Stadium - before making the journey to Morecambe on August 4.

Matlock Town are also set to entertain a United 11 on August 7.

United’s first League One fixture is against Shrewsbury Town on August 18.