Michael Connor urges Blyth Town to relish Northern League return ahead of Bedlington Terriers opener
Blyth Town manager Michael Connor has urged his young players to relish the occasion when they return to the Northern League this weekend.
An eye-catching South East Northumberland derby at Bedlington Terriers only adds to the special feeling as Town take their place in step six of the non-league pyramid for the first time in four years.
The trip to Doctor Pit Welfare Park provides an immediate test of Connor’s squad and forms part of an intriguing opening seven days to the campaign.
Hot on the heels of their meeting with the Terriers is a trip to fellow Division Two newcomers Redcar Town and that is followed by a first home game of the campaign when another newly promoted side – Horden CW – visit Gateway Park.
But Connor’s sole focus is on the opening day of the season, and he is looking forward to seeing his young side competing at a higher level after making their way through the Northern Alliance over the last four seasons.
He told The Leader: “We have built a young side during the last few years since I came back to the club and many of the squad were with us in the Alliance’s second division.
“These lads have helped us get to where we are now, they have got us back into the Northern League and they have earned their chance to show what they can do at this level.
“We believe in them as a club, I believe in them too and we are all proud to see these young lads taking this club back into the league.
“The lads have been going crackers in the group chat, there’s a real buzz in amongst them.
“It’s a case of wow, coming back from the depths of the second division of the Alliance to playing a side with their history, in a derby match, it’s unbelievable.
“We really can’t wait for the first game now.”
Connor could hand debuts to a number of his summer signings including former North Shields and Whitley Bay striker Callum Johnston as his side look to mark their return with a notable win.