WESTFIELDS have scored big with Championship side Blackburn Rovers visiting allpay.park next Wednesday (July 25), kick-off 6.30pm.
Former Westfields and Hereford United star Gary Bowyer, now the reserve team coach at Blackburn, insisted that it was ironic how the game has come about.
“Westfields’ boss Sean Edwards was up in Blackburn on business and paid me a visit. We were chatting about the possibly of setting up a fixture and then I had a call from Chester City, cancelling our friendly. And that was that.
“We'll be bringing a young side down, mainly under- 18s and 19s and possibly some under-20s,” said the former Westfields starlet.
Edwards added: “It’s massive.
From the days of playing at Rotherwas to where we are now, it shows where the club are going, attracting someone of Blackburn's calibre.
"It was hard work sorting accommodation but hopefully the fixture will attract the crowds,” said the Westfields manager.
Fields made a summer swoop for Wellington’s Wayne McNeil, whom Edwards had been chasing for several years.
“I’m happy we have signed Wayne as I’ve been after him for a while. I’m happy with the new boys and what I’ve seen in training.
“But time will tell and hopefully they will blend in with the team,” said the Westfields manager.
Edwards insisted he might need to make a couple more signings for cover but that: “We had a great squad last year that challenged for the title so we don't really need to add much to it.”
Young striker Jack Skinner (knee) and returning goalkeeper Jon Pugh (calf) are both injured but should be fit in time for the visit of the former Premier League champions.
Regarding his team’s chances against the big boys, Edwards said: “It’s going to be difficult and fitness is going to play a big part.”
The manager’s message is: “Come and support your local team.
“Whenever Hereford are away, Westfields are usually at home and we are leagues apart so why not support us both?
“It should be a good game and Blackburn will probably be the most attractive side to come to Hereford all season.”
Å BLACKBURN Rovers reserve team coach Gary Bowyer insists that he is grateful to Westfields and Hereford United for where he is today.
“Westfields and Hereford is where it all began. Hereford gave me my League debut and I had a wonderful time here,” said the ex- Wormelow cricketer.
The full-back moved on to Nottingham Forest where a back injury kept him out of action and then he moved to Rotherham United.
He began coaching under John Peacock (now England under-17s manager) at Derby County, before moving to Blackburn Rovers’ youth team and now working alongside Blackburn boss Steve Kean.
Bowyer, 41, who played for Hereford when they won the Welsh Cup in 1989-90, remembers that: “It was a great day for everyone at Cardiff Arms Park and a great achievement.
“I still keep in contact with Sean Edwards at Westfields and keep an eye out for the results at both clubs. I even went to support Hereford last season when they played at Accrington Stanley.
“It was disappointing to see them go down but hopefully they’ll bounce back,”
Gary's dad Ian, who used to play for and manage Hereford United, worked with his son at Blackburn but has since moved to Premier League side Southampton as a scout.
“I’ve worked with him once, and that’s enough,”