Gary Bowyer says he can’t wait to get stuck into Blackpool’s pre-season preparations now the fixture list has been revealed.
READ MORE: Blackpool FC full fixtures
The Seasiders will be heading to newly promoted Wycombe Wanderers on the opening day before welcoming Portsmouth to Bloomfield Road the following Saturday.
Bowyer told The Gazette: “It’s exciting, isn’t it? The lads are back in on Tuesday and it’s that time of the year when you start getting excited again.
“I can’t wait for next week now to start preparations for that first game.
“Wycombe first up is going to be a really tough game. They’ve just got promoted and I think Gareth Ainsworth has done a fantastic job there.
“I’m amazed, and this is no disrespect to Wycombe, that he’s not gone higher when you look at the job he’s done over the years.
“We know exactly what we’re going to get there – it will be a tough game as they all will be next season.
“Portsmouth is a great first home game for us because they will bring thousands?
“The fact it’s on a weekend means they will make a big weekend of it, so that will be a great game for us.
“Kenny Jackett is a very experienced manager and I thought they were unfortunate last year not to make the play-offs, so they will certainly be gunning for that this year.
“You just have to look at the quality they’ve strengthened with already. But we know this season we’re going to be up against it again in terms of budgets.
“But it’s certainly an exciting couple of fixtures to start with and I’m pretty happy with the fixtures overall.
“Gillingham away on a Tuesday night is not ideal, especially as it comes after an away game at Peterborough and then there’s a trip to Sunderland not long after too.
“So that’s a tough week but the rest of it is brilliant.
“Sunderland at home on New Year’s Day stands out massively because of the size of the club and the fact they’ve just suffered back-to-back relegations.
“It’s a club with a wonderful fanbase and you’d expect them to bring thousands down as well, especially if their team is up there, which they will expect to be given the size of the club and their budget.
“They will be expecting to do what Wigan and Blackburn did last season.
“The fans will look out for the local games, so Fleetwood on Easter Monday is a good one. You’ve got Rochdale away on Boxing Day as well, which is a nice, short trip.
“We’ve lost some local games but we’ve gained Accrington, so all the local ones will be exciting for the supporters.”
Blackpool have been linked with yet another midfielder –Manchester United youngster Matty Willock.
The Daily Mail has reported the Seasiders are looking at taking the 21-year-old on a season-long loan.
Willock spent six months on loan with Scottish side St Johnstone last season and is again expected to be loaned out for 2018/19.
He has previously spent time on loan at Dutch sides FC Utrecht and Jong FC Utrecht.
Described as a tricky midfielder, Willock is one of three footballing brothers who all came through the academy at Arsenal. The youngest, Joe, remains at the Emirates and Chris joined Benfica last year.