It’s the start of a new era for Sheffield FC and Stocksbridge Park Steels as the new Evo-Stik League season gets underway.
Both clubs have made Summer managerial changes with Mick Wadsworth taking the reins at Dronfield and Chris Hilton in charge at Bracken Moor.
Sheffield host Market Drayton Town and Wadsworth is looking forward to his first competitive game in charge of the world’s oldest club. ”Pre-season is behind us and everything done, so hopefully players can put into practice what they have learned on the training pitch” said the Club boss. “It’s good to start with a home game and hopefully three points.”
Wadsworth, who worked under both Sir Bobby Robson and Stuart Gray, added: “The biggest frustration is consistency, you have players on holiday, at weddings or working, but that’s non-league; you just have to be understanding.”
Wadsworth likes to give youth a chance and is excited at the potential in the U19 and U21 squads; “A few senior players have left the club but that gives an opportunity to younger players. Some have had a taste of the first team in pre-season. It’s satisfying to watch them develop and come through. We’ll have three or four in the team tomorrow.”
Steels boss Hilton admits his side face a difficult first game at promoted Norton United. “It’s a tough game, they have the financial backing which has enabled them to sign some very good players” said Hilton. “We’ll go with a game plan and hopefully come away with a result.”
Hilton says the last few weeks have been a little frustrating. “We’re still a few short, hopefully we will have possibly one or two defenders in before Norton. It’s going to take time before we have the squad we want.”
Ryan Laight misses his league debut through suspension but last season’s top scorer Nathan Joynes is set to return after injury.
SATURDAY FIXTURES incl:
Premier Division: Buxton v Nantwich Town, Frickley Athletic v Rushall Olympic, Trafford v Matlock Town.
Division One South: Norton United v Stocksbridge Park Steels. Sheffield FC v Market Drayton Town
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Parkgate v Congleton Town