Magpies can mix it with the best – Matt

Adam Roscoe
Adam Roscoe
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Magpies boss Matt Jansen is convinced he has a squad capable of troubling the very best teams in the National League North.

Chorley begin the new season with a tough-looking away trip to Kidderminster Harriers tomorrow.

The two teams were vying at the top end of the table for the majority of last season and met in the play-off semi-finals.

On that occasion, Chorley came out on top thanks to Adam Roscoe last-minute intervention at Aggborough . And Jansen is hopeful of recording a similar result tomorrow.

Jansen said: “We are excited to get going. I feel like we have a squad capable of competing at the top end of the table once again.

“I feel we are in a stronger position than we were this time last term. It is not the easiest of starts, but you have to play everyone at some point in the season and we fancy ourselves against anyone – bring it on.”

Meanwhile, Jansen revealed that Courtney Meppen-Walter will have to prove his fitness if he is to earn a deal at the club.

The former Manchester City youth player left the club for National League North rivals Stockport County last summer.

But after he was released by the Greater Manchester club, he has returned to Chorley.

He scored in the Magpies’ final pre-season friendly of the summer on Saturday when they drew 1-1 with National League side Wrexham.

Jansen says any hopes of anything more official rest on the defender proving his fitness.

He said: “He needs to prove he is fit. Until he proves his fitness it is up in the air.

“He has undoubtable good footballing qualities if he can get himself match fit.

“The ball is in his court – it is up to him to prove he is fit.”

Jansen has fully-fit squad to pick from, with only midfielder Jake Cottrell unavailable.

l Manager Dave Challinor has spoken of the exciting challenge facing his AFC Fylde side on an historic day at Mill Farm tomorrow.

Boreham Woood are the visitors and it is a landmark for the club as they make their much-awaited debut in the Vamarama National League.

And the air of expectation and no little optimism has been undimmed by the revelation that five Coasters’ past and present players face FA misconduct charges for alleged betting offences.

Challinor said of the charges: “It is something that we have had to deal with – there are things that go on in the dressing-room and this is one.

“It is a challenge that we have had to deal with and if anything it has drawn people closer together.”

Speaking of objectives for the 2017-18 season in the top tier of English non-league football, Challinor said: “The target is to compete in this division.

“It is a big stage to play on and a big jump to make, but something that we are all excited about.”