Nene Valley Harriers tread new ground on Saturday (May 9) when they make their bow in Division Two of the British League.
The city club were promoted from Division Three last year and that was their second promotion since attaining British League status in 2009.
Harriers make their debut at the lofty level of Division Two at Crawley and team manager Tim Needham says he’s expecting “a very interesting season”.
He said: “We have strengthened certain areas but would you believe all four of our new guys are unavailable on Saturday.
“Hopefully our talented Under 20 squad will do well as they pit their skills at the highest level of club competition we’ve ever faced.”
That young talent includes Kane Wright (100m), Ashley Sandall (400m), Ollie Dilloway (400m), James McCrae (800m), Max Butler (800m), Matt Hudson (long jump), Robbie Shaw (shot) and Isaac Huskisson (hammer).
Harriers’ main strength in previous seasons in the British League has been in the throwing events but they have lost the services of Commonwealth Games hammer thrower Jonathan Edwards to Premiership club Enfield & Haringey and javelin thrower Tomas Saunorious has picked up a serious ankle injury which could keep him out for the season.
On the plus side they welcome back Simon Achurch (hammer, discus and shot) after long-term injury while Martin Tinkler (shot) has shown good early-season form.
The four newcomers are Joe Turner (middle-distance) from Gateshead, Ashley Barker (high jump) from Cheltenham, David Connell (steeplechase) from Huntingdon and Alexander Ingham (javelin) from Biggleswade.
But on Saturday, Turner is unavailable through work commitments, Barker is recovering from an appendix operation, Connell has a broken toe and Ingham is away at university.