The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 13th August 2012
.....the start of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division season this Saturday.
The Pitmen host Frickly Athletic at Keys Park and Smith - into his third season as Hednesford manager - believes his current squad has the potential to achieve great things this year.
"I'm very excited, the lads are a very talented bunch," said the manager. "It will take time to gel together and we are running with a small squad but the potential is huge. I have enjoyed working with his group so much. They have been the breath of fresh air that I needed and we are all ready to go."
High-profile new faces, including ex-Bolton Wanderers left winger Nathan Woolfe and the prolific Michael Lennon, are among no less than twelve new arrivals over the summer but Smith singled out three players remaining from last season who have the opportunity to really push on this year.
"Darren Campion will produce week in week out but knows he has to work on his discipline. Jamie Osborne is similar and this is a big year for him, he has the ability to be another Chris Clements. Elliott Durrell has missed a lot of football through injury and poor fitness but he has looked a lot fitter in pre-season and he seems really up for it."
Despite the clear potential of his squad Smith was keen to preach a little caution as his new players get to know each other on and off the pitch in the early stages of a long season.
He added: "There is more talent in the squad than last year and certainly more of a goal threat. However the team last year had been together a while, and it takes time for players to get to know one anothers game. I am confident we will get there but Frickley are unbeaten in preseason and it will be a hard first game."