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Stamford AFC have been placed in the Northern Premier League Midlands Division for the new season

Stamford manager Graham Drury feels the new challenges facing his side in the Northern Premier League Midlands Division will provide a series of tough tests.

The club allocations were revealed this week with the Daniels being placed in the newly-created step four division.

The shake-up by the Football Association will see the Daniels miss out matches against some of their familiar foes from recent seasons with a number of fresh sides providing different challenges.

Stamford manager Graham Drury. Photo: Dan Allen (47375411)
Stamford manager Graham Drury. Photo: Dan Allen (47375411)

They will face the likes of Cambridge City, Corby, Halesowen and Soham in the coming campaign as well as regular rivals such as Ilkeston, Loughborough Dynamo, Spalding United and Wisbech Town.

And manager Drury feels the new challenges will provide a range of tough and different tests for his highly-rated side.

He said: "It looks a strong division.

"We know how good Halesowen are from playing them in the FA Trophy a couple of seasons ago while Corby beat us in pre-season last year.

"The likes of Ilkeston, Spalding, Loughborough and Carlton will be decent and there will be some big-hitters.

"I am also a bit disappointed because I have really enjoyed our division and I love working against the managers.

"We have lost the likes of Leek, Frickley and Worksop who are really good sides but they have been replaced by ones who will give us just as big a challenge.

"It is certainly a challenge for myself because I could name every single player who we were going to play against and what they were like.

"It's now going to be a fresh start and getting to know who's who, how they play and the manager's philosophies of the game which probably makes it a tougher challenge than it was."

Stamford's first competitive match of the new season will be a trip to Northern Premier League East Division side Cleethorpes Town in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup.

The first round tie against the current holders of the trophy will take place on Saturday, July 10, with a 12.30pm kick-off.

They made their first player acquisition of the new campaign this week with highly-rated winger Cosmos Matwasa signing a contract with the club.

Northern Premier League Midlands Division: Bedworth, Belper, Cambridge City, Carlton, Chasetown, Coleshill, Corby, Daventry, Halesowen, Histon, Ilkeston, Loughborough Dynamo, Shepshed Dynamo, Soham Town, Spalding United, Sporting Khalsa, Stamford, Sutton Coldfield, Wisbech Town, Yaxley.

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