Baris Northern Counties East League
Published 10th June 2012
....toughest Step 5 levels in the country – and cannot wait to take on the challenge.
The Lions, who won the East Midlands Counties League last season, are set to be promoted to the NCEL and Hopkins is already looking forward to the 2012/13 season getting under way.
"The line-up for the Premier Division looks fantastic," said Hopkins, who is joint boss alongside former Burton Albion and Ilkeston Town player Glenn Kirkwood.
"We are very excited about going to some new grounds and playing against some very strong teams.
"This league has a reputation of being the second hardest Step 5 league in the country, after the Northern League.
"And, looking at the line-up, this season will certainly be no different."
Hopkins and Kirkwood, who were players together at Matlock Town, are hoping to keep most of their championship-winning side together for next term.
"We are hoping that the vast majority of last season's squad will stay with us," he said.
"But we are also inviting several players to train with us during pre-season, with a view to adding four or five new faces into the squad.
"It's very important that last season's squad get a chance to prove themselves at the next level but they also know that we are looking to improve.
"To do that, they themselves must improve and we must also add players to the squad to freshen things up.
"We are very much looking forward to playing in a tough league and we are more than happy that it's the NCEL."