FORMER Plymouth Argyle manager Ian Holloway is set to make a return to the West Country this summer following his recent appointment with Coca-Cola Championship side Blackpool. Holloway s Seasiders were today (Friday) named as the surprise inclusion in th
FORMER Plymouth Argyle manager Ian Holloway is set to make a return to the West Country this summer following his recent appointment with Coca-Cola Championship side Blackpool.
Holloway's Seasiders were today (Friday) named as the surprise inclusion in this summer's Errea South West Challenge Cup following the withdrawal of Kidderminster Harriers, owing to the release and transfer of a number of their players immediately entering the close-season.
Blackpool - who finished 16th in the Championship this season - are sure to illuminate this year's tournament and have been placed in group D alongside Rushden & Diamonds and Barnstaple. They will play Barum at Mill Road on Monday, July 13. The winners of the group will face the winner of group B, Yeovil, Grimsby or Belgian side RRFC Montegnee, on Saturday, July 18.
Ilfracombe have been paired with Exeter and Eastleigh in group A, while Bideford will play Wycombe Wanderers and Luton Town in group C.
Tournament director Michael Bradshaw said: "We are thrilled and delighted to welcome Blackpool FC to the 2009 Challenge Cup; it is particularly appropriate to welcome Ian Holloway back to the West Country where he has many friends and admirers.
"In fact we all met up very recently at the Bideford AFC Sportsman's Dinner, where he once again demonstrated what a genuine affection he has for both football and the West Country.
"What you see is what you get with Ian and I personally have no doubt whatsoever that he will put some real drive and purpose into his new post. What I also know is that any team put out by Ian will give a 100 per cent account of themselves; his entry into this competition is for real and gives it a superb competitive edge as well as genuine crowd-drawing ability.
"The complete tournament line-up is irresistible and we cannot wait for the action to begin. The Challenge Cup will really set North Devon alight.