Boroughbridge boss Daz Ekin has told his side to forget about the West Yorkshire League title this season and go out and enjoy themselves instead.
‘Bridge saw four first teamers leave the Premier Division club this summer, ripping Ekin’s tight ship apart.
Dave Burniston, Ben Clayton, Dan Clayton and Paul Eagling are all now plying their trade at Knaresborough Town.
But with Andy Layton and Steve Tovey back, Ekin hopes he has filled some of the void left by the departed quartet.
First up is a trip to Kippax on Saturday.
“We’ve never been there, I don’t remember playing them actually, so it is a trip into the unknown,” he said.
“It seems like we always get a new club on the first game of the season. Hopefully we can come away with some points.
“They’ve done a lot of work on their ground apparently. The pitch is a lot better, it’s a better set up.
“We’ve then got Leeds City next Wednesday. That’s away too, it would have been nice to have got a home game under our belt early on.
“Our first home game is against Bardsey.”
Ekin knows Bardsey are one of the favourites to win this year’s competition.
The Keswick Laners have recruited shrewdly with former Leeds United man Gerard McCargo now on their books.
Ekin knows they and Beeston will be the ones to catch.
“I think it will be between those two,” he continued,
“Beeston will want to win it again to defend their trophy. But because they are the best two sides it means that everyone else will want to beat them, so we’ll be going for it.
“I’m just a bit worried because when we played them last season we didn’t get a kick and that was with our full squad out.”
Despite everything, Ekin is staying confident.
“It was disappointing to lose the likes of Dave Burniston, Dan Clayton, Ben Clayton and Paul Eagling to Knaresborough,” he said.
“But we’ve got Steve Tovey back, he’s a big plus for us.
“There’s also Andy Layton who is back in after injuring his cruciate ligament.
“It’s not the squad from last season but on our day we can give everyone a game.
“I’m not going to say we are going to win the league. We didn’t win the league when we had the squad from last season.
“I just want the lads to go out there this season and enjoy themselves.”
‘Bridge’s last pre-season fixture saw them beat Pannal Sports 6-2 on Tuesday.