DANIELS go into their first league match tomorrow missing several key players.
The Stamford club face Kidsgrove Athletic at home and will be without injured centre half Miles Chamberlain and midfielder Lee Beeson. Jake Gibson is away and Gary King is suspended.
Boss Simon Clark said: “We’re starting the first game of the season without four big players which is not great.
“Kidsgrove beat us twice last year and they’re a very good Evo-Stik side.”
Tough as it may be Clark has confidence in his squad.
Last season they finished fourth from bottom in the Evo-Stick League First Division One South.
However, the Daniels had quite a few young players who are now benefiting from a bit more experience.
Clark said: “I think this year we’re better suited to this level of football.
“We had some really young players last year, but we’ve brought in a little more experience and we’re now a bit more physical.
“We still want to be able to play football as that’s what we like to do.”
Finance plays a part in success and Stamford’s budget is perhaps half of some teams in the league.
Clark isn’t setting any targets for the season other than taking each game as it comes.
“We just have to do as well as we can. Last year we went out to win every game, it’s not possible, but that’s what you do,” he said. “We’ve got a very hard start to the season.”
Kidsgrove finished seventh last year and after that the Daniels face Carlton Town on Wednesday away and then Sutton Coldfield next Saturday.
Last year Carlton finished eighth and Sutton were sixth.
The season comes on the back of a disappointing result at Grantham on Saturday in round two of the Lincolnshire Senior Shield.
As holders, Stamford were hoping for a good run, but Grantham put it to an early end.
Clark said: “It’s always disappointing to go out of a cup, particularly as holders. We came back to 2-2 with six or seven minutes left but then they scored near the end.
“We had a few injuries but Grantham have thrown money at it this year and they’ve got a big squad.”
The Daniels are hoping to tie up one more player before tomorrow’s match and have also welcomed centre forward Greg Smith from Corby, who played against Grantham on Saturday.
Clark describes Smith as a physical centre forward who affects defenders and wins headers.
l There will be a minute’s silence before tomorrow’s game in memory of former Daniels chairman Ken Joynson who died in May.