WORCESTER Raiders joint-manager Karl Gormley says the club’s relationship with Worcester City has gone from strength to strength since they faced each other 12 months ago.

More than 800 fans gathered at Claines Lane last year to see City beat Raiders 4-0 in the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Since then, Gormley said he and his co-manager Martin Stephens had struck up a strong bond with City boss John Snape and was looking forward to the next Worcester derby on Saturday (3pm) as their relationship continues to grow.

“I felt that people looked at us more as rivals, especially with City not playing in Worcester so it was us against them,” Gormley said.

“But that’s not the case at all as we would rather help each other out.

“We are a lot more together since the game last year.

“Over the past 12 months we have built up a good relationship with Lee Hughes before he left and with John Snape and people behind the scenes as well.

“Some of their supporters came to watch us when City were playing away which was great.”

Raiders play in West Midlands (Regional) League Division One – two levels below City who ply their trade in Midland League Premier Division.

Last season striker Mark Danks joined Raiders on a dual registration deal as he looked to regain match fitness before returning to City.

“They wanted to give Mark some minutes and we needed a striker at the time so it was perfect for both of us,” Gormley said.

“They are welcome to come and look at any of our players and we have told them that we are happy to take some players off their hands if they are not quite getting into the side and need game-time.”

A late Aaron Brett brace and goals from Dave Reynolds and James Baldwin saw City run out convincing winners in their previous meeting with Raiders.

But Gormley reckoned the contest would be much closer this time around and was also hoping for a bigger crowd.

“It is our biggest game of the season,” Gormley added.

“All the lads are buzzing. They have trained three times this week and are a lot more confident of getting a result.

“We were a bit overawed by them last time but this year we are going out for a win.

“We played them in midweek before and we only had a week’s notice to get ready so we had to throw it together. But we have put a bit more planning into it this time.

“There will be a licensed bar, a burger van and bits and pieces for kids to do there.

“The England game will also be on television so if people want to watch that they can.

“It would be brilliant if we could get over 1,000 people there.”

Turnstiles open from 1pm with tickets costing £5 for adults and £3 for children while car parking can be found opposite the Raven pub on Droitwich Road.