Harrogate Town captain Josh Falkingham says the key to National League success will be carrying the momentum from last season’s promotion exploits into 2018/19.
The Wetherby Road outfit kick-off an historic first ever campaign in the fifth tier of English football when they entertain Sutton United on Saturday, 3pm kick-off.
And although skipper Falkingham concedes the bar has been raised, he is backing his team-mates to flourish.
“It’s important that we start fast, and if we can ride this wave of momentum that we’re on from last season then you just never know how well we can do,” the 27-year-old midfielder said.
“We’re new to the division and don’t want to put too much pressure on ourselves, but if you look at AFC Fylde, who are a team that play a similar way to ourselves, they went up the year before last, finished seventh and made the play-offs.
“The gaffer has kept the core of the squad that did so well last season and is used to winning games together and also added some really good lads with experience of the division we are going into.
“It’s an exciting time for the club. We know it’s a step up but we are confident in our ability and the way we play football, particularly at home.”
Falkingham, who has spent the majority of his career in Scotland with Dunfermline Athletic and Arbroath, revealed that leading the club out for their first ever National League fixture will rank as one of the proudest moments as a footballer.
“It will be an honour for me and a very proud moment,” he added.
“I think in football there can often be more lows than highs, but this will most definitely be one of my highest moments.
“Both myself and all the rest of the players are buzzing for the Sutton game. This is an exciting time for both the club and the town.
“That said, this is about the toughest fixture we could have been handed to start the season. We’ve really been thrown in at the deep end.
“We’re looking forward to it though, and I believe that if we perform as well as we can then we’ll get something out of the game.
“You always want to get off to a positive start and we’ll be looking to do that on Saturday.”