Updated: Wednesday, 20th November 2019 @ 5:39am

Bury, Oldham and Rochdale ready for Football League One kick-off today

Bury, Oldham and Rochdale ready for Football League One kick-off today

By Steven Oldham, Chief Sports Correspondent

Greater Manchester’s League One clubs are all up against Yorkshire opposition as the new season gets under way on Saturday.

Oldham Athletic host recently relegated Sheffield United at Boundary Park, with Rochdale travelling to United’s arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Newly promoted Bury cross the Pennines to take on last year’s beaten play-off finalists Huddersfield at the Galpharm Stadium.

Bury have had a quiet summer in the transfer market so far, bringing in just two signings. Manager Richie Barker has signed unattached centre back Mark Hughes and secured Hull City striker Mark Cullen on loan.Hughes played for A-League side North Queensland Fury before they were wound up earlier this year, while Cullen has signed up for six months and will wear the number 9 shirt.

An impressive campaign for Bury last season has seen Kyle Bennett move to Doncaster in the Championship, it remains to be seen how much the Gigg Lane outfit will miss him in their first season at this level since 2002.

Oldham manager Paul Dickov has been more active in the close season after the Latics finished in just 17th place last season. Stoke City midfielder Matthew Lund has joined on a three month loan deal, with centre-back Jean Yves Mvoto signing up full time after spending a season on loan at Boundary Park.

Former Accrington goalkeeper Alex Cisak has also joined the Latics, who commented that he had the opportunity to go to the A-League but decided he would be better off staying in England.

Dickov has signed ex QPR trainee Josh Parker on a free transfer, whose first team chances will be boosted by the departure of Northern Ireland international Warren Feeney. Feeney had his contract terminated earlier this week, and has wasted no time getting a new club - he will play this season in League Two with recently relegated Plymouth Argyle.

Perhaps Oldham's most important signature could be that of Zander Diamond - a vastly experienced defender with over 250 SPL games under his belt already at the age of 26 - earnt in nine seasons at Aberdeen before his release this summer.

Diamond's bad luck was Oldham's fortune - an ankle injury earlier in June stopped his proposed move to Edinburgh based Hearts - and DIckov moved quickly to sign up the former U21 Scotland captain on a free, which could turn out to be one of the bargains of the season.

After last season's unlikely flirtation with the playoffs, this could be the season where Rochdale come down to earth. Influential manager Keith Hill has gone, and has been replaced by ex Manchester City youth coach Steve Eyre. Hill, and assistant David Flitcroft, have both moved up to the Championship to take control at Barnsley. How Eyre copes with the transition from megabucks City to humble Rochdale could be key to their season.

In terms of playing staff, Eyre hasn't been shy in forming his own squad. Paul Marshall, ex of Walsall, signed up on Wednesday to provide competition in midfield, with England under 20 keeper Jake Kean coming in on a season long loan from nearby Blackburn.

They are joined by another man coming in on a free, Neal Trotman. He was released by Preston North End after making only four appearances for them in three years.  Following North End's recent demise, he will be eager to prove them wrong in the two games between Preston and Rochdale this season.

Striker Ashley Grimes has joined on a free, along with ex Manchester City trainee Andrew Tutte, and Colchester's Simon Hackney on a twelve month deal. Gary Jones, now 34, has signed up for another two years after he finished as Dale's top scorer last season.   

The bookies don't rate any of Greater Manchester's sides as title favourites this season - Rochdale are priced at 50/1 with William Hill, with Bury at 66s and Oldham way out at 80s. All three will be out to prove them wrong.