Warrington Town manager Mark Beesley has expressed his excitement ahead of their National League North curtain-raiser against Southport.
The Yellows make the short journey to the Sandgrounders on Saturday as they get their first campaign in the league underway.
Their phenomenal run in the Northern Premier League earned them promotion, via the playoffs, after beating Bamber Bridge in the final.
For the Town boss, the prospect of the game is mouth-watering as it sees familiar faces go head-to-head. He told Off The Park: “We worked so hard last year to get this feeling and going into great games like Saturday.
“We couldn’t have had a better start, it’s local, it’s against a really established club, good players and a really good manager. It’s a great game for us to start our campaign off
“We lost one in 25 and confidence grew. It’s no surprise how we finished the season that we got promoted, hopefully we can carry on the run.
“We’ve recruited well last summer and we knew that if we did get there the players would be able to hold their own, that’s the case and continuity is something we were looking to bring.
“If we can add to that quality we will but other circumstances like finances and player availability dictate that, we’re happy with what we’ve got even though we’re still trying to add a little bit more quality if we can.”
Connor Woods and playoff final hero Isaac Buckley-Ricketts will return to the coast to take on former manager Liam Watson. Both of the ex-Southport attackers departed Haig Avenue for Cantilever Park and will come up against their former employers.
However, Beesley has dismissed the lingering narratives surrounding the game and to treat it like any other derby.
“It’s important you see it as any other game, local games are always nice because people know each other,” he continued. “Football is a small game, us managers know each other, they know our players, we know their’s, you’ve got to treat it like any other game even though it’s a local game.
“The building blocks have been there and we put them there last season,” Beesley added. “We’re where we want to be, when the fixtures were released, you look at the first few games of the season, there’s some big games and it’s what you look forward to.
“This is what we worked hard for and we’re ready to have a go.”