WORCESTER City kick-start their league campaign tomorrow (Saturday) with joint manager Matt Gardiner confident his side can make their mark on a ‘tough’ National League North.
The Blue and Whites make the trip to Lincolnshire to face Gainsborough Trinity as they begin their season in the Vanarama North, which is widely regarded as the toughest it has been since its formation.
With the likes of Tamworth and AFC Telford United dropping down and FC United of Manchester coming up, Gardiner said he was under no illusions as to the test that was in front of his men.
“We know it is a strong league,” he said. “We know it will be tough but I said we are going to have to strengthen to stand still.
“The aim is to do better than last season, it always is. We have got out own goals and targets and we know what we have got to do.
“We have a confident group and yes there are big teams in the league with some big players, but I would like to think if someone looked at our team sheet they would be thinking, ‘they have got quality as well’.”
New signings Ryan Rowe, Clayton McDonald, Kieran Morris, Sam Miniham, George Nash and Daniel Lloyd-Weston are all fighting to make their competitive debuts for the club.
However, summer acquisition Darren Campion – who signed from Hednesford Town – will miss out through injury.
Joint manager Carl Heeley added: “It will be a strong opening test at Gainsborough.
“We have had some good results there in recent years but that counts for nothing. We go into the game on the back of a decent pre-season and we will be well prepared.
“The games come thick and fast in the opening weeks so having a fully fit squad is going to play an important part with eleven games up by the end of September.”
City’s last visit to Northolme resulted in their first away victory of last season – a 2-1 success in October – thanks to goals from George Williams and Sean Geddes.
A live blog will be available at www.wocesterobserver.co.uk online.