Stocksbridge Park Steels manager Chris Hilton is targeting six-points from their opening two games.
Steels kick off the new campaign against Market Drayton Town at home tomorrow ahead a trip to Goole on Tuesday. “We must get off to a good start” said Hilton. “Market Drayton and Goole struggled last season. Both teams look much the same. We’ve retained every player from last season and added seven new signings and have a stronger squad. We know we’re capable of getting six-points from the opening two games; that would give us a great start.”
After finishing 17th out of 22 last term Hilton feels his squad is capable of finishing much higher this time. “We need to be around 10th. If we do that then it will have been a good season and made progress. We’ve not got a striker that almost guarantees you 30 goals. Brad (Grayson) will get us around 15-20 so it’s important the others chip in. We know we need take our chances and not concede as many. That’s something we’ve been working on.”
New signing Richard Patterson is injured while fellow newcomers Jack Poulton and Matt Reay are both unavailable for the first game. But attacking midfielder Adam Hinchcliffe, Josh Meade and forward Corey Gregory are all likely to make league debuts.
Its a new era at Sheffield FC where the world’s first football club host Carlton. Club replaced Andy Broadbent with former Sheffield Wednesday/Barnsley forward Andy Kiwomya at the end of last season. Kiwomya has reshaped the squad using his extensive contact book to bring in a dozen new recruits. Pre-season has gone well with a 6-0 win over a Borussia Dortmund X1 but it may take time for the new players to gel in Evo-Stik league football.
Frickley Athletic start with an attractive home game against Matlock Town.
Manager Karl Rose has lost talisman striker Gavin Allott to Shaw Lane Aquaforce, while Reece Thompson has stepped up the ladder to join League Two side York City.
Amongst Rose’s seven new signings is former Sheffield FC frontman Zeph Thomas and striker Chris Wood, who makes the step up from AFC Mansfield.
Premier Division: Buxton v Darlington 1883, Frickley Athletic v Matlock Town.
Division One South: Tividale v Shaw Lane Aquaforce, Sheffield FC v Carlton Town, Stocksbridge Park Steels v Market Drayton Town.