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Belper Town raring to go for season opener against Newcastle Town, says Jimmy Albans

Belper Town vs Rushall Olympic - Jimmy Albans - Pic By James Williamson
Belper Town vs Rushall Olympic - Jimmy Albans - Pic By James Williamson

Jimmy Albans says his Belper Town squad is fit and raring to go for the season opener on Saturday.

Nailers finished their pre-season preparations with two tough encounters against higher division Evo-Stik Premier sides Mickleover Sports and Ilkeston FC.

Manager Albans said he can’t wait for the return of competitive action this weekend, when they take on Newcastle Town in the Evo-Stik First Division South.

He said: “We will be organised, we are fit, we are strong and we will try to play to our strengths for long periods of the match.

“We would like to get the ball down and play if it is in the right areas but ultimately we just need to make sure we get a positive result.

“The players are looking forward to Saturday more than anybody. It seems to have been a long pre-season for everybody.

“The majority of players have stayed at the club from last year and we are building on something we started at the end of last season.”

Belper lost to both Mickleover and Ilkeston but Albans believes the experience will stand his players in good stead ahead of ten games in five weeks.

“I am pleased with the last two workouts we have had from Evo-Stik Premier League sides,” he said. “It has shown that we can compete at that level.

“It gives you the opportunity to get used to Evo-Stik football before the season starts. We wanted to make sure we finished with a really tough challenge.

“Ilkeston gave us that on Saturday and Mickleover certainly did on Tuesday night, which we were pleased about.

“Although it has only been pre-season, we have treated them as proper games and now I am looking forward to the start of the season.”

Albans is pleased with the squad he has at his disposal for the forthcoming campaign but hasn’t ruled out the chance of some more new faces.

He added: “We have got some irons in the fire this week. The National League and National League North clubs have now kicked off their seasons and there will be certain individuals who are no longer in their manager’s plans. I am happy with where we are but we are not going to turn any players away.”