Netherton United manager Jon Harrison will use the disappointment of last season to motivate his squad as they set out in pursuit of a first Peterborough Premier Division title.
Netherton faded in the run-in last season to finish fourth. They also suffered the disappointment of having the chance of United Counties League football removed by a club who want to be on a firmer financial footing before they take a step forward.
But Harrison is convinced this will be his side’s year even though they tackle a highly-rated Stamford Lions side at the Grange in their Premier Division opener tomorrow (August 5, 2pm) after a less than impressive pre-season campaign.
Netherton were beaten 3-0 at home by Division One side Whittlesey Athletic in a friendly last weekend.
“Pre-season has been a bit of a nightmare,” Harrison stated. “But this just has to be our year.
“We’ve stayed strong after the disappointment of last year.
“We’ve built a decent squad and hope to be a bit stronger before the first game comes round!
“ I’m really happy with the signings I’ve made. We will always score goals with the strikers we have brought in to help the ones we already have.
“In midfield we will miss Herbie Panting (gone to Pinchbeck), but we still have good players for those positions.
“If our new goalkeeper (Aaron Keir) stays fit we’ll have a great shout especially after signing former Peterborough Northern Star defender CallumMadigan.
“My hardest job might be keeping everyone happy, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.
“We certainly couldn’t have had a much tougher start as Stamford Lions finished last season very well.”
Netherton also have a tough game bext Tuesday when making the short trip to Ringwood to tackle city rivals ICA Sports.
Netherton didn’t in the end sign local experienced striker Jamie Graham after a brief flirtation, but established local forces Chris Brown, Mark Baines, Eric Makate and Zack Fisher are among those to arrive.
(Saturday, August 5)
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES PETERBOROUGH LEAGUE
Premier Division: AFC Stanground Sports v Sutton Bridge United, Deeping Rangers Res v Sawtry, Holbeach United Res v ICA Sports, Langtoft United v Leverington Sports, Moulton Harrox v Peterborough Sports Res, Netherton United v Stamford Lions.
Division One: Crowland Town v Oakham United Res, Kings Cliffe v Glinton & Northborough, Netherton United Res v Uppingham Town, Tydd St Mary v Peterborough Polonia, Whittlesey Athletic v Long Sutton Athletic, Wittering Harriers v Ramsey Town.