Stamford AFC’s journey back into the Evo-Stik NPL Premier League starts tonight, when the club play their first pre-season game of the season against League One Scunthorpe United .
Manager Graham Drury says promotion is his sole aim this season.
He said: “On paper we have got the squad to be challenging for the title at the end of the season.
“It’s going to be all about desire. The players are going to have to get their mentality right. Playing on a cold, wet, windy night in a mudbath, at some of the grounds in this league, they are going to have to show they want it.
“Also at home, teams are going to come to Stamford, take a look at the set-up and the playing surface, and raise their game.
“Every week is going to be a challenge. It’s a tough league.”
Scunthorpe, who play in the third tier of English football, are expected to bring their full first team squad, including their new summer signings Josh Morris and Sam Mantom. After the match The Iron are heading out to Austria for a week long training camp including two matches behind closed doors.
Drury revealed his starting 11 for the match will include eight new faces at the Zeeco.
He said 22 players will be involved, with the 11 not starting tonight, getting a starting spot on Wednesday when the club host League Two Grimsby Town in the Lincs Cup.
Drury said the match is a chance to see where his players are at with their fitness, as he expects they will be chasing the ball for much of the match, against the higher league opposition.
He also said it’s a chance to assess the strengths and weaknesses of his players, who will have less time on the ball than they are accustomed too.
Kick-off at the Zeeco Stadium tonight (Friday) is 7pm. Entry to the match will be £6 for adults and £4 for concessions. All children under 16 will be admitted free of charge.
Supporters can buy a ticket to cover all four pre-season games, Scunthorpe, Northampton Town, Boston United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, for just £18 for adults and £12 for concessions.