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Airbus UK Broughton: Port Talbot provide openiing test for Owen and Harrison

PORT Talbot Town will be the first formal visitors to the Airfield this season when the second Welsh Premier campaign under the Super 12 system gets under way.

Under a traditional league system Port Talbot would have finished below the Wingmakers with Craig Harrison’s side in the top six.

But thanks to the league’s insistence on splitting the league in January and creating two artificial tiers, Airbus’ efforts saw them score more points than Port but remain in eighth.

As director of football Harrison will renew his managerial partnership with Gareth Owen, who has returned to the Airfield as head coach, as they try to make sure Airbus secure their place in the top six by January 2, the cut-off point where the league splits into two and leaves the top six fighting for the title and the bottom six battling relegation.

The Wingmakers welcome defending champions Bangor City to the Airfield on September 7 and on Boxing Day they travel to face Bala Town.

That is the first of a regular-season double-header finale as they also welcome Bala to the Airfield on Monday, January 2.

Meanwhile Airbus now have four confirmed friendly matches – all at home – with the first taking place next Tuesday.

They will take on Ruthin Town ion their first game of the summer kicking off at 7pm, offering returning head coach Gareth Owen the chance to run the rule over his current squad and any potential additions.

On Saturday, July 9, Airbus receive FC United of Manchester at the Airfield, the fan-owned club having just missed out on promotion to the Blue Square North division last season after losing the Northern Premier League play-off final to Colwyn Bay 1-0. The kick-off time has yet to be finalised.

After that two big names from English football make their way to Broughton.

Luton Town will face Airbus on Tuesday, July 19 (7.45pm) before English Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers send a team to Flintshire on Monday, August 1.

The match, which kicks off at 7.30pm, could see a mix of first team stars and young talent including striker Jake Cassidy, whose transfer from Airbus to Wolves last summer led to this fixture.