OVER the next 23 days, we will be taking a look at the 23 teams that we will be competing against in League One this season. First up are our opening day opponents Rochdale.
WHEN DO WE PLAY THEM?
Home: Saturday 4 August
Away: Saturday 5 January
Rochdale AFC was formed in 1907 and played their first game the same year. The Dale would be beaten 4-1 by Oldham Athletic on the day, but they would not be deterred.
They also contested their first Manchester League game in 1907, drawing 2-2 with Tongue on the playing fields that would later become their Spotland stadium (then known as St. Clement’s Playing Fields).
Rochdale were promoted to League One in 2014, having been relegated to the fourth-tier in 2012.
Rochdale secured survival in League One on the final day of the season, condemning Oldham Athletic to relegation.
Despite only reaching the fifth round of the FA Cup, Keith Hill’s side managed to play at Wembley last season. Former Derby County striker Steve Davies scored late-on against Tottenham Hotspur at the Crown Oil Arena to force a replay with Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who were playing their home games at the national stadium.
The Crown Oil Arena is 112 miles from the Pirelli Stadium, which takes roughly two hours of driving to cover. The stadium has a capacity of 10,000.
Keith Hill is currently in his second stint as Rochdale boss, having left the club in 2011 to join Barnsley.
Hill was first appointed by The Dale in 2006 and won 103 of his 225 matches. His time at Oakwell was less successful, winning 19 of 74 and losing 40. The 49-year-old returned to the Crown Oil Stadium in 2013.
Since returning, Hill has managed 295 matches and won 124 of them.
Rochdale have strengthened their midfield by signing 22-year-old Jordan Williams from Liverpool. The defensive midfielder was on-loan at The Dale last season, making 12 league appearances.
Hill’s side have also added the experience of David Perkins from Wigan. The 36-year-old played for Rochdale on-loan in the 2007-08 season. He made 21 appearances for Wigan last season as they won the League One title, scoring once.