WORCESTER City legend Carl Heeley admits the scheduling of his return to St George's Lane could not be better.

Heeley, 35, left City this summer after 11 glittering years at the club, opting to end the final chapter of his career at Nationwide North rivals Hinckley United.

But the 'King' is back on familiar territory as early as next month after the fixture computer dealt City the sweetest possible first home game on August 15 -- against Hinckley.

The mid-week clash is doubly pleasing for defender Heeley, who always preferred the atmosphere of City's Monday night matches over the regular Saturday afternoon fixture.

"It's Worcester's first home game and I knew it would happen," mused Heeley.

"Funnily enough, I got a call from Dave Boddy about Worcester's first home game and he said 'I'll give you one guess.' I suppose it was inevitable.

"I loved playing at Worcester on Monday evenings, more than on Saturday afternoons.

"There was always something special about playing on Monday. There was something about the atmosphere that was a little bit different. The crowd always seemed to be more vocal. I'm really looking forward to it.

"I've been made Hinckley captain, which is an honour, and it will be nice to lead them out through the tunnel at Worcester. It will certainly be a bit different.

"I'll also be in the away dressing room. But I've been there a couple of times, once when I was very, very young and then for Alvechurch against Barry Town when Barry were ground-sharing."

While City's pre-season training went into full swing yesterday with player assessments at University College Worcester, Heeley was getting used to his new team-mates today.

The father-of-two is eager to make a positive impact at the Leicestershire club, but he believes he may need time to adjust after over a decade of familiarity at City.

He added: "It's going to be the most unusual start to the season I've ever had. It's going to be quite a shock.

"I knew a few of the lads at Hinckley, but pre-season will be the first time I meet them all."

Chairman Boddy anticipates a fantastic reception for the return of loyal servant Heeley, plus a huge crowd to boot if City can negotiate their opening day fixture on August 13 at Kettering Town.

The Poppies are among the favourites to lead the way in Nationwide North next season and Boddy believes taking at least a point from Rockingham Road merits a successful start.


Boddy said: "Obviously, the Kettering game is a difficult one to start off with. They are one of the fancied sides this season to make the play-offs. If we can get something out of that game, it will be a good start.

"I was thinking about the Hinckley game the day before the fixtures came out. I had a feeling it would be among the first two or three games at St George's Lane. To be the first is a bonus.

"Carl will get a massive reception from our supporters. He has been named Hinckley captain and there will be a terrific atmosphere.

"If we can get a result at Kettering, then I'm sure we will have a very good crowd for Hinckley.

"There's a lot of hard games early on and you can put yourself under pressure by setting targets. Of course, we will be keen to make a very good start."