Golcar United have been tipped for promotion this season but joint boss Ash Connor says the only pressure is the pressure they put on themselves.
Ash and brother Gavin share the managerial role at Golcar and both are ambitious for success and want to climb the football pyramid.
The club has made eight new signings this summer and the quality of the new recruits – including Ash Flynn, Leon Henry and Dan Naidole – hasn’t gone unnoticed.
League watchers have made Golcar one of the favourites for promotion from the North West Counties Division One North after they strengthened following two seasons which promised so much but which were ultimately curtailed due to Covid-19.
Ash Connor said: “We are very ambitious but the only pressure is the pressure we create for ourselves. We want to push on and Gav and I always set ourselves a target of promotion every season we go into.
“We have done well in the league in the last couple of years and the expectation comes from the standards we’ve set ourselves.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on us. We expect to be able to compete and there’s no doubt it’s exciting times for the club but, at the same time, we have to be realistic.
“This is a tough league and you can’t take anybody for granted. There are no easy three points and if we are not on it teams will turn us over.”
The new season starts today (Saturday) with a long trip to Cumbria-based Holker Old Boys followed by another away game at Campion on Tuesday night.
It’s been a condensed but intense pre-season for Golcar after they took part in the inaugural Yorkshire Trophy, finishing third.
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Most of the recruiting took place in time to field players in the Yorkshire Trophy but three more signings have come in the last few days.
Ash Flynn, the former Yorkshire Amateurs and Emley goal machine, moved to the Skye Direct Stadium after leaving Liversedge and Golcar have signed two promising young defenders in Huddersfield Town’s ex-Manchester United scholar Jake Barrett, 21, and 19-year-old Nick Crane from Halifax Town.
Connor is pleased with the way all the new signings have bedded in and there’s a mix of youth and experience.
Apart from the old hands who have played at a higher level, Connor is delighted with the progress of Oliver Willetts who’s stepped up from local side Honley FC.
“He’s had a superb pre-season and I think he’ll do well at this standard,” said Connor. “But I’m pleased with how all the lads have fitted in. We build our team around a great spirit and morale in the dressing room and they have all fitted in perfectly.”
The other new signings are midfielder Gregg Porter, who makes a welcome return to the club, and veteran goalkeeper Graham McLachlan, who will be vying for the No1 jersey.
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With Flynn, Henry and Naidole added to a squad with Buddy Cox and Mike Fish there should be goals aplenty.
Fish always nets his share of goals and Cox will be a handful for defences given an injury-free run.
Golcar won’t have a full squad to select from at the start, however, with Willetts having picked up an injury and Henry and Porter both unavailable.