It’s the big kick-off for the Northern Counties East league this weekend where for many clubs the opening fixture comes in the Extra-Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.
There have been a number managerial changes with Hallam appointing Steve Whitehead and Scott Bates as joint managers following the departure of Ryan Hindley to Worksop.
James Colliver will hope to guide ambitious Handsworth Parramore to promotion after after leaving Sheffield FC.
Maltby Main have had two managerial changes. Jordan Hall stepped down last month, citing work commitments, without taking charge of a single competitive game after replacing Spencer Ferarn who left for Frickley Athletic. The Miners quickly appointed Mark Askwith and Scott Mason as the new management team.
The FA Cup can be rewarding financially for the clubs it’s £3,000 for the First Qualifying round winners.
Hallam face a tough baptism against Bootle at Sandygate on Sunday (3pm).
Joint boss Steve Whitehead said: “It won’t be an easy game. Its a sort of freebie for us. Of course we want to win the game and do well in the Cup because the finances are a big help to the club. But it’s our first game and we will learn a lot ready for our first league start at Shirebrook on Tuesday.”
New signing striker Chris Wood is absent but Ryan Lee should be fit after picking up an injury against Sheffield FC
Handsworth make the trip to Widnes.
Manager James Colliver said: “The players have been a credit and have adapted well to the hectic pre-season schedule. Purposely we’ve played some good teams pre-season, teams from the Evo-Stik and the National Conference League to give the lads different challenges, physically and mentally. We have added quality to the already talented bunch from last season. We are now looking forward to the season ahead starting on Sunday in the FA Cup.”
Penistone Church, who will compete in the top flight of the NCE League for the first time in the clubs history, start out with an away trip to Charnock Richard of the NWC Premier Division While Parkgate host another of the of the NWC top flight sides with Premier Division Barnton the visitors to Green Lane.
Ryan Hindley’s first competitive game in charge of Worksop is a home tie against Midland League side Hinckley Town at Sandy Lane. It promises to be a tough tie for the Tigers against a team that finished second in their respective league last season.
In the league, Division One newcomers Swallownest start their Division One campaign at home against Winterton Rangers
FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round: AFC Emley v Burscough, Armthorpe Welfare v Liversedge, Athersley Recreation v West Didsbury & Chorlton, Cammell Laird v Maltby Main, Charnock Richard v Penistone Church, Parkgate v Barton Town, Retford United v Quorn, Staveley MW v Loughborough University, Worksop Town v Hinckley.
NCEL Division One: Ollerton Town v Dronfield Town, Rossington Main v Campion, Swallownest v Winterton Rangers.
Sunday, August 6
FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round: Hallam v Bootle, Widnes v Handsworth Parramore.