FRICKLEY Athletic boss Karl Rose says his side will hold no fears going into their Evo-Stik Premier League opener at Hednesford Town on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
Town are one of the pre-season favourites for promotion and Rose’s first competitive game in charge of the Blues will come at Keys Park.
But he’s confident his men, who won all six of their pre-season friendly matches in emphatic fashion, can do him and the club proud in Staffordshire.
“It’s going to be a really tough test, we’re away at one of the big guns” he said.
“They’re one of the favourites for promotion and we’ll be amongst the favourites for the drop.
“All we can do is go there and give our best. We’re going there to win, not to shut up shop.
“We’ve had a great pre-season and averaged four goals a game and we can’t afford to change the way we’ve been playing, we’ve built some good foundations over the summer.
“Let’s see how far we’ve come.”
The only blot on Frickley’s pre-season copybook has been an injury suffered by freescoring striker Gavin Allott in the 4-0 friendly win over Garforth Town last Friday.
Allott went off with a hamstring injury and although missing him on Saturday would be a blow, Rose won’t risk doing further damage to his star striker.
“We’ll have to see how he goes but we won’t play him in one game and risk losing him for a further six if he’s not 100 per cent,” said the Blues boss.
“I spoke to him on Monday and he said he’d improved drastically so we’ll assess it in training.”
Matty Bloor was also rested with a tight groin but only as a precaution and Terry Barwick is set to feature after recovering from an illness.
But Kelvin Bleau, pictured right, isn’t expected to feature with the defender set for a move to Blue Square Bet North side Stalybridge Celtic.
Frickley rejected one offer from the Lancashire club for the full-back but Rose says he expects Bleau to depart.
“I think he’ll be a Stalybridge player soon,” Rose said.
“We dismissed a bid of £2,000 from them two weeks ago but we wanted £5,000 and I think we’re just about there in agreeing a deal.”
Frickley follow their trip to Hednesford with a first home league match of the season against Matlock Town on Tuesday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
And Rose believes it’s important his side make a fast start, saying: “We’ve four games in the first nine days so we have to come flying out of the starting blocks.”
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.