Silsden kick off their campaign at AFC Liverpool on Saturday, with manager Chris Reape optimistic his team can….
…..produce their highest-ever finish in the North West Counties League Premier Division.
Reape was encouraged by last season’s twelfth-placed finish and, having kept most of the squad on, the Cobbydalers chief is hoping his side can surpass their best final placing of ninth in 2008/09.
He said: “We are starting the season in a much better position than last season, when we were still trying to get a settled side.
“We have retained most of the playing squad with the exception of goalkeeper James Mann.
“Christian Paulat-Brigg did particularly well at Clitheroe and has the opportunity to make the number one position his own.
“We have added a few players to the squad and hope that striker Kevin Ryan can have an injury-free season.
“Also there is always a possibilty of more youngsters in the club making their mark in the first team, just as Matthew Moses and Joe Gaughan did last season.”
Gaughan was Silsden’s only injury worry before last night’s final warm-up game at Liversedge.
After drawing with Knaresborough Town, the Cobbydalers have enjoyed friendly victories over Pontefract Collieries (3-2) and Oxenhope (5-1) before drawing 0-0 at Evo-Stik League side Clitheroe last Saturday.
Assistant-manager Danny Bolton said: “So far, Chris and I have been more than happy with the lads’ commitment, application and quality in pre-season games.
“We have, as you would expect, got progressively better in each game. The team spirit is excellent and Chris, myself and the squad hope to entertain the supporters in the forthcoming season.
“It’s one game at a time but we approach the new season with considerable optimism.”