Warrington Rylands manager David McNabb says he is treating their Northern Premier League Premier Division bow as a celebration.
Rylands dramatically clinched promotion on the final day of the regular season to ensure they played in the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League for the 2022/23 campaign. Workington’s shock goalless draw with rock-bottom Market Drayton Town handed the Blues promotion.
It was their successive promotions after they moved up from the North West Counties a season earlier.
“Yes and no,” McNabb told Off The Park when asked about whether he is ready for another rollercoaster season.
“I’m ready, we’re certainly ready to play competitive football. Obviously, pre-season is great, the lads are generally in high spirits, they’re glad they’re back, there’s obviously changes and stuff.
“Now that we’re getting back to competitive football, you’re starting to see the best of the players and that starts to bring out the competitive edge in you as well. We’re ready in that regard.
“But there’s always certain things that you wish you worked that little bit more or had a little bit more time with players who’ve had niggles and knocks but it’s football, you’ve got to deal with them as you throughout.
“All in all, we’re ready to get going, excited, we know it’s going to be a tough game but it’s our first game, win, lose or draw we’re going to celebrate the fact we’re playing at this level.”
They kick-off their campaign at home when Gainsborough Trinity visit Gorsey Lane.
It’s another monumental step forward in the club’s history, adding to their FA Vase win just under two years ago, as they embark on Step three of the National League system for the first time.
On their season opener opponents, McNabb added: “They’ve experienced, very established at this level, think seven or eight years they got relegated so they’ve got experience higher up the period as well.
“They’ve got some really good players, new management team, so it’s going to be really tough and hopefully we can edge it on the day, we’re looking forward to it.”
This week, two more faces came through the door at Rylands as they made some final moves ahead of the new campaign.
Veteran striker and former Newport County goal-getter Kevin Ellison put pen-to-paper on a deal after his release from the League Two side. Jordan Mustoe also arrived at Gorsey Lane after the defender comes to the Northern Premier League following spells in Romania, Sweden and Belgium.
“I think we’ve been short of attacking options throughout pre-season for different reasons around injuries and niggles,” McNabb commented on the new arrivals.
“Unfortunately, we’re going to lose David Webb who will start off a new life in Dubai, we’re made up for Webby and what that new opportunity brings.
“But that meant we were down a striker so obviously Kev’s (Ellison) is available having left Newport. His passion for the game, his passion to carry on playing, we sat down and had a coffee and it was pretty much really easy to get the deal done, he’s going to hopefully have a massive impact on and off the pitch – in the terms of the young lads – and helping us strive forward as a club.
“Jordan is a player we’ve spoken to a couple of times before but it was never right in terms of his career and the opportunities he had playing aboard.
“He’s come back, he wants to stay at home, he’s 20 minutes to half-an-hour away from us, he’s a really good player and got bags of experience, in the league and numerous different countries.
“He’s another player who is a good age, super-fit, he has had a little niggle after coming back from a freak injury but he should be ready to go in the next couple of weeks and another really good addition to the team.”