Bullish Billy Paynter excited for Chasetown opener as Runcorn Linnets eye playoff redemption

Runcorn Linnets in action during pre-season

Runcorn Linnets manager Billy Paynter is excited to get their season underway at home to Chasetown.

For a second successive season, Linnets were left disappointed in the playoff final after being edged out by Workington – after Marine ran out victors a year earlier.

There’s been a change within the starting squad at the APEC Taxis Stadium. Danny Taberner and Sean Heathcote, two players within their defensive ranks, secured moves to the Northern Premier League as Guiseley and Macclesfield acquired their services.

Tom Moore also departed as he swapped Linnets for David McNabb’s Bootle.

Linnets will be looking to get off to a positive start as their quest to earn promotion begins. And Paynter is excited to “get down to business”.

He told Off The Park: “Always a positive starting the season off at home, we’re looking forward to it. 

“Unfortunately, we’ve had injuries in pre-season which you can’t forsee. With Jamie [Rainford], it was just impact, it’s unfortunate, but for me I’m confident we’ve got the strength in depth that players can step up. 

“I’m looking forward, I have trust in my team. I’m expecting a tough game, Chasetown will be excited to come to Runcorn, it’ll be packed stadium and hopefully, it will be a good day on our behalf.

“I’m very excited, I’m glad to see the back of pre-season so we can get down to business. The main focus is now the competitive side of the game with three points on the line, that’s what we’re going to aim for.”

Their pre-season ended on a sour note as Jamie Rainford was hospitalised in their final match against Ashton United. Paynter believes the quality in depth for Runcorn will see them through the difficult times.

He added: “You can’t expect injuries to happen, it’s unfortunate that lads have been injured at this time. The players that we’ve got in and around the squad are more than capable of stepping into their shoes. As time goes on, I might look to see who is available to strengthen.

“I think we’ve prepared right, trained right, this week we’ve prepared on different outcomes, scenarios in case Chasetown look to play different formations. We might have to adapt during the game which most of last season we did, it’s something that we’re used to so we’ll be fine.”

[Featured Image: Tom Paul]

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