TOWN boss Peter Jackson steps up the preparations for the new season tonight admitting there will be no excuses if Town fail to hit the ground running in Coca-Cola League I.
Just six weeks after Town clinched promotion by beating Mansfield on penalties in the play-off final at Cardiff, Jackson takes his entire squad to the Welfare Ground (not Belle Vue) to take on UniBond League Wakefield and Emley for the annual Mick Green Memorial Trophy match (7.30). The 22 players, including new arrivals Junior Mendes and Chris Brandon, have got a week's training under their belts in readiness for the first of eight friendlies before the big Coca-Cola League I opener at Stockport County on Saturday, August 7.
That's a far cry from last season when Jackson, freshly installed himself, selected a distinctly new-look Town team to take on tonight's opponents.
On that occasion, there were seven new faces on show in a 2-0 victory sealed by Andy Booth and Jon Newby.
"It was very different 12 months ago," recalled Jackson.
"This time, I've had the luxury of having my squad intact before the players reported back, and I was able to have a good think about what we wanted to do training-wise.
"This time there can be no excuses. The lads all had specific fitness programmes to follow while they were away and had target weight limits to hit when they reported back.
"I didn't have to fine any of them, which was a good start."
Goalkeeper Ian Gray (broken hand) is in line for a run-out tonight. Emley give a trial to ex-Silsden striker Matthew Bland and a first appearance to experienced Robbie Painter.