Garry’s Magpies eyeing the crown

Harry Winter has joined Chorley from AFC Fylde this summer

Harry Winter has joined Chorley from AFC Fylde this summer

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Chorley boss Garry Flitcroft has set his sights on back-to-back promotions.

The Magpies won the NPL Premier Division title last term and Flitcroft wants their new foray into the Conference North to be just as successful.

Chorley open the new campaign at Victory Park against Lowestoft Town tomorrow.

And Flitcroft believes his side is better than ever.

He said: “It is a tough league but we have got a great dressing room and I’m confident we can beat any side on our day.

“We are stronger than ever and I have added more quality players to the side.”

Keil O’Brien left the club to link-up with Flitcroft’s younger brother and Bury boss David in pre-season.

But Flitcroft has added to his squad.

Adam Dodd left Blackpool during this summer’s mass exodus and signed up at Victory Park.

He joins new arrivals Tom Smyth, who arrived from Colwyn Bay and former FC United player Kyle Jacobs.

And Chorley have snapped up Harry Winter from local rivals and fellow Conference North new boys AFC Fylde.

Flitcroft praised his new additions who have seamlessly adapted to his set up.

He said: “The newcomers have slotted in well.

“The dressing room has always been great but they have made it even better.

“Winter has popped up with two goals in pre-season

“I feel like we are going to have a good season.”

And Flitcroft admitted that tomorrow’s opposition are an unknown quantity.

He said: “It is a team I don’t know too much about.

“They will have a five-hour journey to reach us and hopefully that will play into our hands.

“We have a few injuries, three or four key players have had a few knocks during pre-season but they all trained last night so they may be fit for tomorrow’s opener.”

Chorley have won three and lost three of their pre-season fixtures.

The Magpies lost to Preston North End, Bamber Bridge and Accrington Stanley but they notched some impressive victories against other higher-league opposition.

They beat Championship outfit Bolton 2-1 at Victory Park and they recorded the same result against League One new boys Fleetwood Town in July.

The Magpies dispatched Salford City 3-0 but ended their pre-season with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Flitcroft’s former Blackburn Rovers team-mate James Beattie’s League Two side Accrington Stanley

But Flitcroft is raring to go and tipped his lads to challenge for their second successive title.

He said: “The lads can’t wait to start.

“Every season we want promotion and once again we are hoping to jump to the next league at the end of this season.

“The lads know we want to keep advancing up the leagues and I feel like we have a good chance.

“Our biggest challenges will be the sides with the big budgets who have spent a lot of money, like Harrogate but I’m confident we can do well.”

Elsewhere, Southport start a new Conference Premier season under new management.

Martin Foyle took the helm in May after John Coleman’s surprise departure.

And his rebuilt side will entertain Forest Green Rovers at home.