Manager Billy Miller will lead his strongest ever Harrogate Railway side into Evo-Stik First Division North league action at home to Mossley on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
The boss, fresh from a trip stateside on Manchester United’s pre-season tour of the USA, reckons his troops are ready to light up the league and set the tone for a red hot campaign with victory on opening day.
And, with Rudy Funk’s Scarborough Athletic waiting in a mouthwatering North Yorkshire crunch on Tuesday night (7.45pm), Miller knows how important it will be to get off to flier in front of an expectant Station View crowd on Saturday.
He said: “We have had a positive pre-season. I would say this is the strongest the club has been since Ash (assistant Lee Ashforth) and I arrived.
“Mossley are a big, strong side. They will have looked at the fixture list and seen this one as three points won, but we will do the same.
“I would envisage a real tough encounter.”
Funk’s Athletic were moved from the southern to the northern section of the league for this season.
And Miller is relishing the tie: “It’s a new adventure for Rudy and his lads.
“We’ve had mixed results over there in the past, so you expect a test at any point in the season, even the very beginning.
“We will see where we are after the Mossley game and assess Scarborough from there.”
Miller has set his side - installed as 40-1 favourites to win the league outright - a points total for the season.
He said: “Our aim for the league is 50 points, to put us mid-table.
“Anything above that is a big plus, but our priority is keeping Harrogate Railway in this league.”
lBilly travelled with Manchester United on their pre-season tour of the USA. Read page 13 of this week’s Harrogate Advertiser for the story.