The Evo-Stik League Southern
Published 18th August 2012
After surviving the complex cut to gain promotion from the Uhlsport Hellenic League last season, John Evans' men welcome Wimborne Town to Meadowbank opener.
And after waiting so long to finally secure their place in step four of the non-League Pyramid, long-serving boss Evans is determined his men enjoy the experience.
"We're all a bit nervous going into the game, but excited as well. I would call it a nice nervous," Evans said.
"The good thing is that the majority of the boys who helped to get us there are still involved and we've not lost too many.
"We're all looking forward to it, we know it's going to be a big ask, but that's what sport is all about and we'll relish the challenge.
"It's important that we enjoy the experience of being there.
"We all want to be the best we can be and there is no point trying to be static, we want to set the sights high."
Evans will be able to call upon a number of players with solid Southern League experience in his squad, not least veteran player-coach Jody Bevan.
But while Bevan, goalkeeper Tom King, midfielder Tim Haddock and striker Kevin Slack have all played at Step 4 before, Evans knows that it will take time for his squad to settle.
He is adopting a relaxed approach to the new campaign and he insists that targets will only be set once his side become accustomed to the new level.
"We're just going to go and try and do as well as we can until Christmas and then review where we are at," Evans said.
"We realise how tough it's going to be, but Jody has stressed to the players the importance of going out and enjoying the game on Saturday.
"We have three or four lads with good experience of playing in the division and that's good, but it's also nice for the lads who haven't played at that level to have that chance too.
"It's great to be at home first, it's a lovely pitch now at Meadowbank.
"But that's a double edged sword as teams will enjoy playing us, once they've found the ground up that funny hill!"