Knaresborough Town manager Paul Stansfield is backing his players to be challenging at the right end of the NCEL Premier Division table this season.
Finishing 2017/18 as first division champions earned the Manse Lane outfit an historic promotion to the top flight, meaning that the club will be competing at the highest level of football since their formation in 1900.
“I’m expecting us to do well,” Stansfield said.
“It’s a tough league with some big clubs with huge budgets and it’s a hard division to get out of so we will treat it with the respect it deserves, but I am confident going into the season.
“We’re an aspirational club and we’re not aiming to finish fourth from bottom, I want us to be challenging in the top half of the table.
“It’s all new to us, which is good and we’re excited to get going now. Pre-season can be a bit of a grind trying to get two teams fit so we’re looking forward to the trip to Albion Sports on Saturday.
“We’ll be aiming to come back with a win. If we play to our potential then I have every confidence that we will get a positive result.”
Boro will make the trip to Throstle Nest for a 3pm kick-off missing skipper Will Lenehan, winger Rob Youhill and striker Steve Bromley.
“You’re never at full-strength in August due to holidays, but we’re still in good health,” Stansfield added.
Boro completed their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 success over North West Counties Division One side Steeton on Tuesday evening, Nick Black bagging the only goal of the game in the 20th minute.
Three days earlier, Stansfield’s men were edged out 3-2 by Leeds United under-18s.