Warrington Rylands manager Michael Clegg says his side are raring to go ahead of the prospect of facing Radcliffe Borough.
It marks the beginning of a first full season for Clegg after taking charge during a tumultuous period at Gorsey Lane.
A change is afoot for the Blues as they look to further establish themselves in the league. Off the field, work is ongoing as they look to knit the club together following a fractious period.
Rylands ended the campaign on a high and narrowly missed out on the playoffs, although a slow start to life under the former Ashton United manager scuppered a late surge into the top six.
They start their campaign against Radcliffe, who were taken over by Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley. Under the guise of the former Salford City and Chester duo, Clegg has tipped Boro to be among the title pack.
He told Off The Park: “The odds came out for the league last year and Radcliffe’s odds were huge for the players they’ve got.
“They’d probably be my favourites to be fair with Macclesfield. The calibre of player they have brought in, they’ve made it well-known their target for the year and that’s the earn promotion. I think them coming to us is as tough as a start as it is for us but it’s a tough start for us as well.
“It’s all good at this time of the season because you’ve not lost a game of competitive football, you’re training right, team bonding so as far as that goes, we’re happy. We feel like we’ve touched every base and now this week has been solely focused on Radcliffe.”
Like Radcliffe, Warrington Rylands have bolstered their ranks this summer. While last year was focused on maintaining their status in the Northern Premier League, Clegg is using their test against the Greater Manchester side as marker for where their expectations for the season should be.
“We’ll go into the game with no stone unturned but that’s how we go into every game anyway,” he continued. “Our season isn’t going to be defined by Saturday but for me, Saturday will be a real good marker of where we’ve been at.
“I’m really looking forward to it because we are the underdogs, the lads are in great spirits, they see this game as a real test to see where we are. We know we’re going to have to work hard to get the three points so nothing is going to come as a surprise.
“We know the quality and the threats they’ve got, we’ve got them too, it’s going to be a game of cat and mouse and whoever puts the ball in the back of the net more will get the three points – simple as that.”