Ossett Town are taking on a ‘no fear’ attitude this season as they target more strides forward on the pitch under manager Craig Elliott.
The Ingfield club enjoyed one of their best campaigns in recent years in Elliott’s first term in charge last season with a 12th-placed finish and prolonged cup runs in the FA Trophy and West Riding County Cup.
Elliott is targeting more success in his second season and says a play-off push is not out of the question for his new-look squad, who kick-off their Evo-Stik League Division 1 North campaign at Prescot Cables on Saturday, August 17.
“It’s important as a club we aim as high as we can,” he said.
“I am not daft enough to say we should get in the play-offs but it’s got to be a realistic aim.
“Cammell Laird last season proved to me with little resources anything is possible.
“I have total respect for the league and there are some strong teams again this season with big budgets, but I don’t fear anyone.
“It’s important we give our best in every game and see where it takes us. If we finish higher than last season and have another good cup run in any of the competitions then I will be happy as it shows we are continuing to improve as a team.”
Town have welcomed a number of new faces, led by former Doncaster Rovers and Hull City forward Jason Price.
The club has also enjoyed an eventful pre-season, including a competitive 2-2 draw against Leeds United U21s in front of 900 fans at Ingfield.
Alex Mowatt fired the young Whites side ahead but Andrew Fox levelled matters and Ryan Qualter, named as Town’s captain this season, gave the hosts a half-time lead.
Ryan Hall ensured Leeds left with a draw thanks to his second-half penalty but the match provided handy preparation for Town’s forthcoming campaign - as well as a financial boost to club coffers.
“Pre-season has been pretty positive on the whole”, said Elliott after the match.
“I have been pleased with what I have seen but there is always room for improvement, especially in the final third of the field.”
That improvement came last Tuesday night when Town won 7-1 at AFC Emley.
Gareth Grant, recruited from Farsley over the summer, scored a hat-trick while Andrew Fox bagged a brace and there were goals for Steve Jeff, who scored 17 goals for Tadcaster Albion last season, and Fernando Moke.
Town completed their pre-season friendly fixtures with a 1-0 defeat at Rainworth Miners Welfare on Saturday and attentions now turn to Saturday’s league opener at Prescot Cables (kick-off 3pm).
The draws for the early rounds of the Doodson Sports League Cup have taken place and Town will visit Sheffield FC in the first round on Tuesday, November 12.
The draw for the West Riding County Cup has also taken place and Town will play host to Tadcaster Albion with a date yet to be confirmed.