After a very difficult pre season the big kick off is upon us with league matches starting this weekend with a home fixture against Bolton Wyresdale at Hopwood Hall (M24 6XH) ko 2pm.
Pre-season saw the postponement of three out of four of our friendlies due to an inability to field a team, with the one match played (Rafael Straszewski pictured above against Wilmslow Albion of the Manchester League) showing that much of our squad are some way short of full match fitness.
This situation will unfortunately extend into the start of the season with many of the squad not being available for matches due to a wide variety of reasons which include cricket, holidays, work, injury and COVID-19 to name but a few.
Added to this has been the loss of manager Steve Lorenzini until the start of November as he is raising funds for the club on the Trans American bike trail crossing the continent on a push bike. Assistant manager Paul Mercer has stepped into the breech to steer the team through the first three months of the season but is already facing an uphill struggle to get the team fit enough and sufficient numbers on the field to compete at Premier Division level.
A request during the summer to drop down a division because we were aware of these problems developing was not successful, so we will be up against the best teams in the league with a restricted squad for a few weeks. We will be forced to try and make the best of it.
Following on from this weekend we have another home game on the 21st August before a run of three away games all against top sides in this division. As things stand we are currently scheduled to play ten home games and eight away by Christmas if all games go ahead, which they rarely do!
The league season at present is due to conclude on the 19th February with the League Cup to be played thereafter, but it is usual for games to extend into May after postponements take their toll.
The team is entered into the Lancashire FA Amateur Cup once more with the first round fixtures still unknown but it appears it will be played on the 25th September when we should be getting back towards having a much stronger squad available.
All fixtures are currently on the club website and will be updated as changes occur, but please note we have no game on the 28th August due to our request for the free week the league allows all clubs.
Any support for the team is very welcome now that restrictions have been eased, so we hope to see a few faces at any or all of our games. Match reports will be on the website after each game for your perusal.