AFC Emley boss Darren Hepworth wants his players to put on a show of strength at the Welfare Ground on Friday (7.30).
The Huddersfield club are turning the clock back with an old-style probables v possibles pre-season game as they head into the new Northern Counties East League campaign.
And Hepworth, at the helm since November 2010, says he is spoilt for choice ahead of the fixture, which follows a 2-0 win at West Yorkshire League Shelley last week.
“I know managers are almost always optimistic at this time of the year, but I am feeling very hopeful,” he said.
“We had a very solid second half of last season, with only two defeats since the turn of the year, and we have good foundations at the club.
“Our Under 19s did a double in the Northern Alliance, winning the West Division with only one defeat all season and the League Cup.
“And the development side were runners-up to FC United of Manchester in a very strong Lancashire League East Division.
“We have already had players like Ruben Jerome, Jordan Townend, Sylbert Stewart and Robbie Wadsworth coming through to the first team, and more are capable.”
Hepworth could lose Josh Ingham and Jonny Irving to Stocksbridge Park Steels.
The midfield pair have been training with the nearby Northern Premier League club.
But striker Max Leonard is back, and Emley have signed up his fellow former Town player, defender Mikey Starkey.
Respected skipper Paul Sykes is preparing for another campaign, and Hepworth also has experience up front in the form of Steve Kenworthy and Adam Todd.
“I think we have a good mixture of ages,” added Hepworth, who aims to end an eight-year wait for the club to clinch promotion to the NCEL Premier Division.
“The league is going to be as tough as ever, but we know what to expect and consistency is key.
“I’m looking forward to the trial match, and picking the two sides will be fun. Hopefully they’ll give me a few posers.”
Emley, who have switched their FA Cup extra preliminary round home tie with Ashton Athletic to Sunday, August 17 (3,00) to avoid a clash with cricket, will Glossop North End on Tuesday (7.45).
Penistone Church, newly promoted tothe NCEL First Division, have a home friendly against Shaw Lane Aquaforce on Monday (7.30).
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