James Beattie is looking forward to tonight’s friendly with Chorley and a chance to renew his acquaintance with an old footballing friend.

The Magpies manager Garry Flitcroft and the Stanley boss were once both at Blackburn Rovers and Beattie has fond memories of their time together.

“I met Gaz for the first time when he was at Blackburn and I was a YT,” he explained. “He really used to look after the young lads and he let us take his car up and down the A59! He was just brilliant around the younger boys and they all loved him. He had a great career but he always had time for the young lads. As my career progressed we became good friends and we’ve been good friends ever since.

“He did a great job last year at Chorley and they went up into the Conference North. He’s obviously played at the top level and now he’s on a career path similar to myself.”

Both sides begin their league campaigns a week tomorrow and Beattie is expecting a difficult encounter against the recently promoted non-league side.

“I’m expecting a really competitive game tonight. I live in Chorley so I hear a lot about Gaz and his side and I’ve seen them play a couple of times. They’ll be well drilled and organised and we expect it to be a good test for us. That’s why we asked Garry to come down and we’re delighted Chorley are coming.”