NEW Hemsworth MW manager Wayne Benn believes his side can cause a surprise in Northern Counties East League (NCEL) Division 1 this season and push for a top-six place.
Benn took charge of the Fitzwilliam Sports Complex this summer after former manager Andrew Cracknell stepped down due to work commitments.
Experienced striker Andy Hayward will be his assistant, while continuing to play, and Darrell Bowman will be first team coach.
Benn, who has experience as reserve team manager at Bradford Park Avenue on his records, hasn’t made wholesale changes to the squad but has brought in some of his own players.
And although Welfare don’t have the finances to compete with some sides in the division this season, the new boss insists his men have qualities elsewhere that will allow them to enjoy a successful campaign.
“I don’t want to make any silly predictions but there’s no reason why we can’t push for those top six places this season,” he said.
“We may not have the finances that some clubs do but what we do have is a group of 18 or 19 good players who will run through brick walls for us.”
He added: “We’ve had a really good pre-season and have played some good stuff, there’s a real buzz about the place now and a good feeling, we just need to re-create that out on the pitch.”
Welfare were due to kick-off their new campaign at home against Louth Town last Saturday but saw their game called off by the referee due to bits of glass being amongst the newly-laid turf.
“We have volunteers that help out and somehow very small pieces of glass were found in the turf,” said Benn.
“They were only small and both us and Louth wanted to get the game on but the referee was having none of it.
“Our volunteers said they’d comb the glass out for kick-off. I don’t think he realises just how much preparation goes into hosting a game.”
Welfare will be hoping there are no such problems when AFC Emley visit this Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
Hemsworth fans could see a number of new additions, including in-form striker Ryan Pleasants, make their debuts.
But striker Damion Liddle, who has rejoined the club, may have to wait as he regains full fitness.
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.