It will be a new-look Netherton United who start the defence of their Peterborough Premier Division title on Saturday, but manager Jon Harrison won’t be changing the winning formula that led to an awesome four trophy haul last season.
The city side host former champions Oakham - back at step 7 after struggling at a higher level - in their opening fixture at the Grange tomorrow (August 4, 2pm) and they could have half-a-dozen new faces in the starting line-up.
Former Peterborough Sports centre-back Josh Sanders is a major capture, while Fraser Sturgess, Jason Dunn, Aaron Graham, Aaron Warrener, Dean Giglio, Richard Baines, Scotty Taylor and Kenny Wheatland are all additions to an all-conquering squad.
“We won’t be changing the way we played last season,” Harrison stated. “Why would we after the success we had? It’s a proven winning formula.
“We will be the best footballing side in the division and we’ve made some great signings in the summer.
“They will all suit our style of play and they’ve already shown the hunger to experience what the others experienced last season.
“Moulton will be our biggest rivals as they’re always a great oufit at our level and the only other team I see challenging are Whittlesey. Ricky Hailstone and Simon Flanz worked miracles there last season to get into the top three.
“I also hope my former player Ryan Wood has a great season managing Peterborough Sports Development. We are gutted to have lost him, but I admire what he has taken on.
“Oakham could surprise a few, but hopefully not us this weekend.”
Netherton, who have appointed former Huntingdon boss Jimmy Brattan as assistant manager, also have a league game next Wednesday (August 8) against Sports Development at the Grange.
The city side warmed up for the new season in fine style with a 3-2 win over higher-level Biggleswade last weekend. Tommy Randall bagged a hat-trick.
The United Counties League season kicks off in earnest tomorrow with Peterborough Northern Star hosting competition newcomers Rugby Town at Chestnut Avenue (3pm). Rugby are rumoured to have a decent budget for this standard of football.
Saturday, August 4
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE
Premier Division: Daventry Town v Holbeach United, Deeping Rangers v Wellingborough Town, Peterborough Northern Star v Rugby Town, Pinchbeck United v Rothwell Corinthians.
Division One: Blackstones v Birstall United, Huntingdon Town v Aylestone Park, Rushden & Higham United v Bourne Town.
THURLOW NUNN EASTERN LEAGUE
Division One North: Wisbech St Mary v Needham Market Res.
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES PETERBOROUGH & DISTRICT LEAGUE
Premier Division: Holbeach United Res v Thorney, ICA Sports v Moulton Harrox, Langtoft United v Whittlesey Athletic, Leverington Sports v Peterborough Polonia, Long Sutton Athletic v Peterborough Sports Development, Netherton United v Oakham United, Tydd v Stamford Lions.
Division One: Crowland Town v Oakham United Res, FC Peterborough v Uppingham Town, Kings Cliffe v Parson Drove, Ramsey Town v Spalding Town, Whittlesey Athletic Res v Oundle Town, Wittering Harriers v Eye United.