Selston will commence their first ever season at step six of the non-league pyramid on Saturday as they travel to Graham Street Prims for their East Midlands Counties League debut.
Craig Weston’s men have enjoyed two title wins in successive seasons in the Central Midlands League, finally achieving the ground grading required for promotion earlier this year and taking their place in the higher level.
And as they prepare for their season opener, Weston says the whole club can’t wait to get started.
He said: “Pre-season has gone really well. There have been good performances and just the odd blips here and there where lapses in concentration have led to us conceding the odd goal, but that’s what pre-season is for really in terms of dealing with those problems.
“We’ve kept the same squad on from last season with one or two new arrivals to freshen up in certain areas, but the players who got us here deserve the chance to show what they can do at this level and we’re all looking forward to it.”
The relatively early start to the campaign saw the EMCL give teams the option to postpone their games until a later date if desired, and as things stand only three games will be played this weekend.
Weston added: “It’s strange starting so early but although we had the option to move the game - and I think Prims were quite keen to do so - we actually felt happy to play as we’d planned our pre-season around that date and are ready to go.
“We had our final friendly against Clipstone on Tuesday night which I wanted us to treat as much like a proper league game as we could, and to be fair the lads did really well and got a good result.
“It’s important to have that little bit of momentum, and with only six teams playing on Saturday there’s the chance for us to get some points on the board before many others do.”
Despite the Parish Hall Grounds now being fit for step six football, as always there will be a delay until Selston’s first home game with cricket taking priority at the facility.
Selston’s second league game won’t be until August 12 at Barrow Town, with trips to Birstall United, Anstey Nomads and Teversal planned in before their first home game against Holwell Sports on September 2. The first ever home game under floodlights will be against Blaby & Whetstone on Tuesday, October 3.
Weston said: “The ground is ready but as is often the case we’ll have our first few games away from home.
“We’re all looking forward to the first floodlit game as lots of lads have been here a long time and to play at the Parish Hall Grounds under lights will be a great new experience for them.”
Saturday’s game at Graham St Prims, who are based in Spondon on the outskirts of Derby, will kick-off at 3pm and we’ll have a full match report, reaction and photo spread in next week’s Advertiser.