ASHINGTON Colliers start their new Pin Point Recruitment Northern Alliance Premier League campaign on Saturday with a message ringing in their ears from manager David Brown.
Brown takes his side to Wheatridge Park for a tough baptism against Seaton Delaval Amateurs knowing that the sides have had ding-dong exchanges over the past couple of seasons.
“Delaval have twice beaten us in consecutive years in the final of the George Dobbins Kicks Leisure League Cup, but we have had our success over them and it hasn’t all been one way,” said Brown.
However, the boss, whilst being happy with pre-season, is refusing to make predictions.
Instead, Brown has told his squad: “It’s up to you.”
He added: “We drew 3-3 with Wearside League side Prudhoe and have registered 2-1 victories against Washington and Whickham, two sides from the Ebac Northern League second divison.
“Last Friday we took on South Shields from the Ebac first division and although we lost 3-1, they scored their final goal in the last five minutes and it could have been different had we taken our chances.
“Nevertheless, it was an excellent work out and I couldn’t have asked any more from my players.”
Brown said he is delighted with his array of newcomers.
He added: “Steven Slaughter has returned from Australia and we are waiting for his international clearance to come through.
“Other new faces include Gary Bailes, Stephen Hutchinson and Ritchie Brown – then there is the promise from youngsters Mark Hyman, Rees Farrell and Lewis Martin to go alongside regulars David Brown junior, Glen Bolton and Iain Nickalls, who have all re-signed.”
On Saturday, Brown could be without striker Marc Richardson through injury whilst he is also missing other players due to holidays, work commitments and suspensions. Kick-off is 2.30pm.