Bamber Bridge assistant manager Neil Reynolds believes Alistair Waddecar’s star quality will fuel another successful season.
Brig start the new NPL First Division North campaign at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium against Droylsden next Saturday.
Wadecarr was named in last season’s First Division North team of the year and he starred in Brig’s 2-2 pre-season draw with Conference North new boys AFC Fylde last week.
Despite interest from numerous other clubs he signed a new two-year deal at the end of last season and Reynolds is confident Wadecarr can fire Brig to the top of table.
He said: “Alistair signed a new two-year deal and disappointed every manager in our league and several other higher-league bosses.
“He knows what we are about – he has been at the club for four years and made more than 200 appearances for us.
“If we want to kick on and be successful we need a player like Alistair.
“He is still only 24 and we have got him for another two years. He can help us get out of this division – if not this season then the next.
And Reynolds is looking forward to a ‘relaxing’ week ahead of next Saturday’s big kick-off.
Last season’s defeated play-off finalists Brig thrashed local rivals Euxton Villa in their final pre-season game on Wednesday.
And after a pleasing pre-season, Reynolds believes the short break this week will benefit the team.
He said: “We did really well on Wednesday night, we enjoyed it. It was a good occasion to play against our local rivals.
“I just think our class shone through.
“We weren’t entirely happy with the performance but we scored another five goals and we are ready for Droylsden next Saturday.
“The break is just what we wanted – we will train tomorrow, and on Tuesday and Thursday as we will be trying to choose the 16 for next Saturday.
“We know the starting XI but we haven’t picked the bench and there is still a chance for players to impress in the training sessions.”
Andy Bell is fully fit and Luke Atheron has returned to the club after a 12-month break in Australia.
And Reynolds is overjoyed with the duo’s return. He said: “Having those two back is like having two new players.
“Andy Bell is re-energised and hopefully we can keep him fit. When he plays well we all seem to play well – he’s a clever player who creates things.
“Luke is back and he has just come in and picked up were he left off.
“He captained the side against Euxton.”