Saturday saw Rochdale’s first fixtures of the new season. The men’s second team were at home to Salford University and it gave both the new captain Dean Close and coach Aasim Chaudhry a chance to put plans in to action.

Rochdale’s new high press set up is designed to keep constant pressure on the opposition and look to win the ball high up the pitch. With this new style, Rochdale surpressed Salford and put immense pressure on there defensive line.

Right from the off Rochdale took control of the game and were clearly the dominant side, taking possession of the ball at all opportunities and when they did lose the ball, the whole team worked hard to get it back behind it, in a defensive formation.

Throughout the game Rochdale pressed into the D and had chance after chance but the University of Salford had a keeper that was equal to everything that Rochdale could throw at them and definitely kept them in it.

Despite huge possession Rochdale couldn’t break the deadlock. The high press is hard to keep up for a full game and with everyone starting to tire, Salford managed to catch Rochdale on the break and get a few shots off at the keeper, Brian Robinson, who was more than capable of blocking them with ease.

Unfortunately no team was able to make anything happen and ended in a 0-0 draw but many positives could be taken from the game.

Captain Dean Close “Overall with Rochdale employing a new system the whole team were very impressive and worked well for each other, at times the high press gave Salford no options at all and this worked very well for us.”

The Flying Horse Man of the Match was Bjorne Brauns who worked tirelessly up and down the pitch, making sure that the whole team had an outlet or an extra defender when needed.