Bamber Bridge manager Neil Crowe has called on his players to start with a bang against Droylsden tomorrow.
Droylsden were relegated from the NPL Premier Division at the end of last season and they were famously thrashed 13-1 by Brig’s local rivals Chorley.
Chorley were 5-0 up after just 12 minutes but Brig’s boss is expecting a much tougher test in their opening match of the NPL First Division at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium against the new-look Bloods.
Crowe said: “It is a tough opener to be honest. Looking at some of the lads they have signed they have a squad full of accomplished NPL players.
“It is going to be a test – I don’t think they have many players left from last season, they are a lot stronger and will be a tough side.
“We have got four games in nine days. I jut want us to get off to a good start
“I think it is achievable on paper We started badly last year and it didn’t look good at the end of September.
“It is important that we get off to a good start.”
Crowe’s men are ready for kick-off but despite having a fully-fit squad Crowe is frustrated by two suspensions.
He said: “We are prepared for kick-off. I’m just disappointed about the two suspensions.
“Matt Mahoney is banned for one game and Matt Lawlor is banned for three.
“They have been carried over from last year. But we have a near-full squad to choose from and we are ready to go.”
Crowe has set his sights high and is aiming to challenge for promotion.
He said “Our aim is to finish as high as possible. In an ideal world we are aiming for promotion – I’d like a good FA Cup run and a good FA Trophy run too.
“It is a massive bonus that Ally Waddecar has signed a two-year contract and unless someone comes up with a lot of money, he isn’t going anywhere.
“We have lost four players but we have brought four in. Glenn Steel has come in from Lancaster and he is a very experienced player.
“Luke Atherton has re-joined, Nathan Parish has signed up and Staurt Vasey has joined from a local-league side.
“Andy Bell suffered from injuries all last season but he has returned and he looks good.
“All in all it looks like a very strong squad.”