Longridge Town boss Lee Ashcroft goes into the new season optimistic after his team’s performances in pre-season.
Town kick off their first season in the Hallmark Security League’s Premier Division on Saturday with a trip to Avro.
Pre-season has seen Town beat Freckleton (10-1), Conwy Borough (4-2) and Fulwood Amateurs (3-2) as well as draw 2-2 with Bamber Bridge.
There have also been defeats against Chorley (4-0), a Preston North End XI (4-2), Euxton Villa (1-0) and a Blackpool XI (4-2).
While some may pay undue attention to results in pre-season, Ashcroft is more of the view that it gives new players a chance to bed in ahead of the serious matches.
“We’ve played some difficult games but that was always the plan,” he said.
“We played Blackpool on Sunday and there were some nice comments about the way we play our football.
“We’ve done some stuff well but we have to work on other aspects as well but that’s what pre-season’s all about.”
Part of the pre-season work has been focused on replacing three of last season’s title winners.
A trio of Town’s principal attacking threats have decided to try their luck elsewhere, even if most of last season’s squad have stayed at the Mike Riding Ground.
“I haven’t changed a lot of the players,” Ashcroft explained.
“I wanted to give the lads who gained promotion a chance but the new lads who have come in have settled really well.
“However, we’ve lost a lot of goals because Richie (Allen) hasn’t returned, Jay Hart has gone away and Isaac Sinclair has gone to Curzon Ashton.
“That’s a hell of a lot goals to have lost but, to be honest, I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I wasn’t pleased for Isaac.
“I like bringing players on and it’s pleasing that Isaac came to us when he couldn’t get in the AFC Blackpool team.
“We’ve worked with him and for him to get into the Conference North is a great achievement. Before you know it, he could be playing League football, and while it’s frustrating to lose him, I couldn’t be happier for him.”