Tomorrow sees Farsley Celtic return to the National League North level following 10 years away, with Darlington the visitors to kick off the new campaign.
It has been a busy summer for Farsley, undergoing a rebrand under new owner Paul Barthorpe.
Despite the changes off the field, it has all been about continuity on the field with the whole title-winning squad extending their stay at the club, whilst Jordan Richards (Southport), Tyler Walton (Frickley Athletic) and Elliott Wynne (Altrincham) have all joined the club.
Last year’s Northern Premier League player of the year Jimmy Spencer believes the Celt Army are ready to compete at this level, and he said: “As a squad we need to set out our aims, which is staying up first and foremost.
“We need to stay up and come Christmas see where we are. Hopefully we can have a late push and continue into the play-offs if we’re there, that’d be brilliant. You speak to Paul (Barthorpe, chairman) and you speak to Lakey (manager Adam Lakeland) and their ambitions are very high, this club’s going in the right place. They’re both ambitious and that only filters down into the team on a matchday.
“We all need to be ambitious, and why not get into the play-offs and try and do something?”
Meanwhile there have also been changes at Darlington who have a new manager in Alun Armstrong, with the former Blyth Spartans boss making eight additions to his squad, including former Guiseley man Will Hatfield.
After their relegation near-miss last season, Guiseley will be gunning for a winning start when they host newly-promoted King’s Lynn Town tomorrow (3pm).
The Lions have added to their squad with the signings of midfielder Aram Soleman and 20-year-old left-back Brad Nicholson in recent weeks and, after their 6-0 pre-season victory over South Shields last weekend, joint boss Russ O’Neill is full of optimism for the new campaign.
He said: “I think everybody is looking forward to the start of the season. I can’t wait for it.
“We’re ready to go and I think everybody else is.”
Elsewhere in the National League North tomorrow, Bradford Park Avenue travel to Curzon Ashton.