NCEL: Ambitious Tadcaster Albion ready for kick-off

Tadcaster Albion's new signing Josh Greening playing in pre-season. Picture by Ian Parker

Tadcaster Albion's new signing Josh Greening playing in pre-season. Picture by Ian Parker

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Tadcaster Albion assistant Mike Morton believes a repeat of last season’s memorable points haul would secure promotion this season, ahead of this Saturday’s big kick-off.

Albion start their Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier campaign at home to promoted Shaw Lane Aquaforce on Saturday (3pm).

After the opening test, Nostell Miners Welfare, who just survived relegation last year, head to the newly sponsored i2i Stadium on Tuesday evening (7.45pm).

Last year’s squad earned a club record 97 points - reduced to 93 due to a four-point deduction for fielding Denny Ingram when suspended.

And Morton said Albion would try everything in their powers to break that mark for the one promotion spot this season.

He said: “We are not telling the players that we have to go up. Our main objectives over the summer was to make the team stronger, and we have strengthened the squad.

“The target is to just get as many points as we did last year.

“By looking at the outfits that have come into the league, it’s going to be a lot stronger this year. If we beat the points we got last year, we will be in contention.”

Former Ossett Town manager Craig Elliott guided Shaw Lane out of Division One last season, and has since brought in a spate of new arrivals with Evo-Stik Northern League experience.

The Barnsley moneybags are expected to challenge for honours this season and Morton expects a difficult test first up. Morton said: “They are going to be one of the tougher teams in the league. It’s going to be tough. But I would rather start like that than face one of the weaker teams.”

Albion have maintained the squad that finished third in the Premier division last year but three new additions and a new reserve side will provide boss Paul Marshall with plenty of options.

Star midfielder Nick Thompson will continue to captain the Brewers but goal machine Carl Stewart will miss part of the start of the season with a suspension.

The striker faces disciplinary action from an incident in Sunday League football in York at the end of last season, and he could miss more than a month of action from September.

However, Josh Greening, brother of Premier League star Jonathan, has also been poached from rivals Pickering Town with a curriculum vitae full of goals.

Former Leeds United defender Andy Milne has been acquired at centre half and experienced midfielder Liam Ormsby also signed on the dotted line.

Morton added: “We tried to get them last year. All three players have great experience of playing in the league. It means we have experience right down the spine of the team.”