FC Isle of Man welcome National League opposition to the Bowl this weekend.

The Ravens will go up against Altrincham FC at the national stadium on Saturday afternoon as part of a double header.

The Manx side are preparing for their second full season in the English leagues, which will begin with a home tie against Lower Breck on Saturday, July 30.

Altrincham currently play in the fifth tier of English football, some four steps above FC Isle of Man and only five steps from the Premier League.

Nicknamed Alty or the Robins, the club has been mainstay at this level for the past four seasons, finishing 16th, ninth, 12th and 15th respectively.

With a reputation as FA Cup giant killers, knocking out more Football League sides than any other Non-League side, their best performance came in 1985-86 where they reached the fourth round, beating Birmingham City on the way.

Top scorer last season was Dan Mooney who scored 13 goals across all competitions, including 12 in the league.

While Mooney has since moved on to Southend United, second on the list last season was winger Ryan Colclough who bagged 11 league goals and began his career with Championship side Wigan Athletic.

Phil Parkinson has been Alty’s manager since 2017 having himself previously played for Alsager Town FC, a club the Ravens faced last season in Division One South.

While proving that upwards mobility is certainly possible in non-league, last year the Robins signed midfielder Tyrese Beaumont from Wythenshawe Amateurs whom FC Isle of Man beat in last season’s promotion play-off semi-final.

In May this year, Altrincham announced that they would be turning professional ahead of the upcoming season as they look to push for promotion into the Football League.

So while this weekend’s fixture will be a fantastic proving ground for the fledgling FC Isle of Man, it also presents an opportunity to play a club with serious ambitions that are not unlike our the Ravens’ long-term aims.

Kick-off is 3pm at the Bowl - head to www.fcisleofman.im for ticket details.