Northern Premier League: Good starts the watchwords for big kick-off

Former club captain Andy Milnes has returned to Tadcaster Albion for the 2019/20 season. Picture: Tadcaster Albion FC.
Former club captain Andy Milnes has returned to Tadcaster Albion for the 2019/20 season. Picture: Tadcaster Albion FC.
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The Northern Premier League kicks-off this weekend, with several local sides hoping to get off to a good start.

Frickley Athletic – the only team to compete in the South East Division – take on Chasetown at Westfield Lane. Athletic will be looking to build on last year’s mid-table finish in an effort to re-create the success they saw in the 2017/18 season, where they finished third, just three points off an automatic promotion spot.

In the North West Division, Ossett United kick-off their campaign at home to Mossley.

Last time out, Ossett finished in a play-off position in the East Division before their move to North West Division One.

Ossett were handed a boost in the off-season as coaching team Andy Welsh and Paul Quinn each signed one-year extensions after an impressive first season with the club. United’s chief executive, Phil Smith, believes the duo can emulate last year’s success: “How could we not go with these guys again after last season? We are planning on being more sustainable this season so there won’t be as much money to spend.

“It’s a bit of a challenge for the guys but I feel they can mount a bid for the play-offs again.”

Brighouse Town were the winners of the play-offs in the same league and were also transferred to North West Division One at the season’s end.

Town have strengthened with signings such as Jacques Etia, who has joined on a season-long loan from Rotherham United. They start their year at Clitheroe tomorrow.

Elsewhere, Pontefract Collieries also face a trip over the Pennines as they take on Runcorn. The Colls are another side who were transferred to the division following the re-structure. They finished in second place in the East Division and they will take confidence that they can achieve something similar this time around.

Meanwhile, Tadcaster Albion welcome Trafford to Ings Lane.

Albion enjoyed a solid season last time out and missed out narrowly on a play-off spot by just one point. The North Yorkshire club’s recruitment has been impressive as they prepare for the coming year, announcing six new signings, one of which sees former captain Andy Milne return to the club.

Elsewhere, Pickering Town travel to Workington.