Magpies set for the big kick-off

Marcus Carver
Marcus Carver
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Boss Matt Jansen believes Chorley have to be ‘better than they have ever been’ in order to achieve success this season.

The Magpies kick-off the new National League North campaign by welcoming FC United of Manchester to Victory Park tomorrow.

After making a raft of new signings over the summer to strengthen his squad, Jansen is optimistic about what lies ahead for his men over the coming months.

However, he knows that his team are in a highly-competitive division with many teams spending big as they aim to progress up the football pyramid.

Close rivals AFC Fylde – backed by multi-millionaire chairman David Haythornthwaite – have long-held ambitions of reaching the Football League.

They have moved into a 6,000-capacity stadium and recently announced that they were turning full-time.

There are other big-hitters in the division – including Salford City, who are owned by Malaysian businessman Peter Lim and Manchester United’s feted Class of ‘92 – Gary and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

Jansen knows in terms of budget, Chorley cannot compete with many of their competitors.

But he believes whatever the club lacks in finance, they can more than make up in terms of team spirit and togetherness.

“We have not got the same budget as what many other teams in our league have,” said Jansen.

“But what we do have is a fantastic team spirit. All the lads have got to know each other well and they will fight for each other on the pitch.

“What can we achieve this season? Who knows?

“With the strength of the league this season, I think we need to be better than we have ever been. Last season we did okay – but I want to push and do better this season. I want to see us competing in every game.

“We are looking to get promotion – automatically if possible or at least have something to play for at the end of the season.”

Having lost strikers Darren Stephenson and Jordan Connerton – to Tranmere Rovers and Lancaster City respectively – Jansen has plugged the gaps in attack by swooping for Sefton Gonzalez and Jason Walker, who will complement Marcus Carver.

“Darren was brilliant for us last season – absolutely outstanding,” said Jansen.

“He scored a lot of goals but in Sefton, Marcus and Jason, we have got three centre forward who are capable of getting goals.

“Jordan looked at it with them three and thought there’s going to be a lot of competition for places.

“I did not want him to go, because I wanted four strikers but I can understand his decision.”

Jansen – who is likely to hand a debut to former Premier League defender Stephen Jordan tomorrow – is looking forward to the visit of FC United.

“We have had a good rivalry with FC United over the last few years,” said Jansen. “We beat them at our place last season, but they beat us at their ground.

“We are really looking forward to the game. We have had a good pre-season, with a lot of good performances.”

Jansen is set to be without Adam Roscoe and new signing Adam Blakeman this weekend.

Roscoe needs extra time to get his fitness up to speed after holiday, while Blakeman is a week away from full fitness after suffering a niggle in pre-season.