With just three days to go until the start of the Vanarama National League North season, AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor admits he is as excited as anyone about the new campaign.
The Coasters kick off with a tricky trip to AFC Telford United on Saturday and Challinor is a mixture of emotions.
“Am I excited, nervous? Probably a bit of both,” admitted Challinor. “As soon as one season finishes, everything is geared up for the start of the next one. There are phases that you go through from seeing the fixtures coming out to putting a squad together and everything inbetween. All of that is directed towards the first day of the season and we are very close to that now.
“We are very much looking forward to the game at Telford. It’s a great place to get started, but a very tough place too. This division will be difficult right the way through and how you start can be very important. There are a lot of big clubs in our league this year and Telford are one of those.
“We will be going there hoping for a positive result and a good performance. There will be a big crowd and a good atmosphere and I’m sure the pitch will be in fantastic condition. It’s very exciting for everyone involved.”
Challinor’s side enjoyed a league double over The Bucks last season but the manager believes those results will have no bearing on Saturday’s clash.
He said: “It’s a new season and a new start for everyone. We have changed from last year and they certainly will have too. They had a very good end to last season when the new management team came in when they looked in danger early on of suffering back-to-back relegations.
“They came in, steadied the ship and got them comfortably away from the drop zone and they will be looking to kick on this season.”
Challinor admits he is a few players short as the new campaign approaches, not least in the goalkeeping department.
“We are still very much a work in progress and it may take us a couple of weeks at least to get up to speed with where we want to be,” he said.
“Regardless of that we will still be going into the first game looking for all three points and the same will be the case the following week against Brackley Town.
“We are still evolving but there are no excuses now. League football is back with three points up for grabs and we want to start as well as we possibly can.”