Ashington FC Head Coach Ian Skinner reckons the Wansbeck based outfit face tricky ties in the FA Cup and FA Vase after the draws were made on Friday.
The Colliers will host North West Counties League side Nelson at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday August 6 in the Cup whilst they travel to face Albion Sports in the Vase in September.
Skinner said: “It’s great to get a home draw but it will be tricky because it is the first competitive game of the season.
“Ideally it would have been better had the game been a couple of weeks into the campaign but the way the fixtures have been structured that has not been possible.”
He continued: “Nelson are a team who operate at the same level as ourselves.
“Last season, they were knocked out of the two FA competitions by Northern League opposition in Newton Aycliffe and Team Northumbria and they finished 17th in their division.
“A new season brings a new squad and only strengthens our case for being fully focussed in pre season and ready for this massively important contest.”
Ironically Ashington beat Albion Sports in the FA Cup last year - after a replay.
Dylan Williamson equalised in the first game with the last kick of the match then on a sodden Wednesday evening, Andrew Johnson scored a late winner in a 3-2 victory:
“With the game in September it will give us the opportunity to do our homework and endure we are fully prepared,” added Skinner.
Meanwhile Ashington kick off a five match warm up programme on Thursday (July 14) against Newbiggin (7pm) and Skinner said: “It’s more about the psychological aspect and fitness and getting back to basics.
We have had five excellent training sessions which has given the lads a good baseline in fitness - now it is a case of turning that fitness into match fitness.”
Ashington’s other friendlies - all at Woodhorn Lane with 7.30pm starts - include: Tuesday July 19 - v Durham City; Tuesday July 26 - v Blyth Spartans; Friday July 29 - v Bedlington Terriers; Monday August 1 - v Newcastle United XI