Brig kick off with a trip to the coast
Bamber Bridge will get the longest trip of the season out of the way on the opening day when they visit Scarborough Athletic tomorrow.
The visit to the east coast is part of a tricky start to the NPL First Division North campaign for Neil Crowe’s men.
On Tuesday night they host Colne at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium, before having a home tie with Ossett Albion in the FA Cup.
Crowe told the Evening Post: “It’s a great one to start with isn’t it?
“They play at Bridlington and it is our longest journey of the season.
“At least the pitch will be in good condition at this time of year – we went in January last season and it was very wet.
“Scarborough will be tough opponents but I’m confident we can go there and give a good account of ourselves.
“It is a busy start, with Colne coming to our place in midweek – they have made some good signings and are a decent side.
“Then it is Ossett Albion in the FA Cup, who always give you a good game.”
There will be a sprinkling of new faces in the Brig squad which heads to Yorkshire.
Former Blackpool youth team players Elliott Pond and Kitt Gregory are the latest additions.
Said Crowe: “This week, we signed two young lads who had been released by Blackpool.
“Kitt Gregory has played a couple of games for us during pre-season and Elliott Pond has been training with us.
“Elliott is a centre-forward and Kitt can either play wide or in the No.10 role.
“They are only young lads but have talent and I think they will be good signings.
“Earlier in pre-season we got the goalkeeper Marcus Burgess in and Chris Churchman.
“Chris was on trial with us and played some of the friendlies – there were other clubs interested so I’m pleased to get him.
“We also signed Lawrence Hunter, a left-back from Harrogate.
“I’m still looking to make a couple more signings because we want the squad to be stronger.
“A few times we have been knocked back by players we want because of the money.
“At the moment, some other clubs are offering to pay the earth and we simply cannot compete financially.
“We will wait for the right players to come available and see what we can do.”
Crowe had been hoping to sign former Preston defender Josh Heaton.
The teenager, released by PNE in the summer, featured in the early pre-season matches for Brig but is likely to sign for Droylsden.
“Josh was one where we could not compete financially with what Droylsden could offer,” said Crowe.
“We were interested in signing him – he’s a good player but we’ve put that one to bed now and moved on.”
Brig will be without Jamie Milligan for the opening games of the season.
The experienced midfielder will be saying his wedding vows tomorrow rather than travelling with the squad.
Crowe said: “Jamie is getting married on Saturday and he misses the first four games of the season, which is a bit of a blow for us.
“Glenn Steel is available for the first two games and then misses four after that.
“The squad is not looking too bad though, just another couple of faces would be nice.
“Stuart Vasey has had a niggling heel injury for a little while but we are hoping he is going to be okay.”