FORMER Huddersfield Town striker Dale Tempest says the club couldn’t have picked a better time to make trips to Newcastle United and Aston Villa.

The two clubs relegated from the Premier League last season are the first two away Championship trips on Town’s fixture list, following the August 6 opening-day clash with Brentford at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Town will travel to Newcastle on Saturday, August 13, and Villa Park the following Tuesday, and Tempest believes David Wagner’s men have a chance of catching their hosts cold.

Roberto Di Matteo is paraded in front of the media and announced as the new Aston Villa manager by chairman Dr Tony Xia

“Now the fixtures are out, Town fans will be planning their early-season trips around the country and the first two, to Newcastle United and Aston Villa are crackers,” said Tempest, now PR guru for league sponsors Skybet.

“Newcastle are 2/1 favourites to win the Championship title and you have to think, with Rafa Benitez staying and a squad of quality for that level, they will take some beating.

“You wouldn’t be backing them as short as 2/1, but they should go well.

“And while it’s a very tough first away game for Town, at least it will be out of the way early and it might be the best time to play them, with everyone still settling back in.”

While Town played at St James’s Park only seven years ago in the then Carling Cup, they haven’t been to Villa Park since December 1987.

“It will be really exciting for a whole generation of Town fans to be able to go to Villa Park and see their own team there for the first time,” added Tempest.

“Just like supporters having favourite grounds, players do as well and, in my case, Villa Park was always a favourite.

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“I remember scoring at Villa Park in the Under 14 Southern Junior Floodlit Cup!

“That was way back in 1978 and I was in a Fulham team who won 3-1.

“They say as a striker you can always remember every goal you score and, while that may not be strictly true, I certainly remember that one.

“Let’s hope Town can get a similar result when they go down there in August.”

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