By Tony Cunningham

The talking stops, the pre-season games have come to an end, and the closed season changes, both on and off the pitch have been made.

Now the season begins!

Tomorrow, the Rams open their Evo-Stik West account with a visit from Shropshire side Market Drayton Town to the HWRS.

This is the first time the two clubs have ever met, and do so as a result of the realignment of the second tier of the NPL Evo-Stik League from North/South to East/West.

Last season Town endured a difficult campaign in Evo-Stik South, often looking over their shoulders before Romulus finally accepted the fate of the only relegation spot in the Division.

No doubt, on the back of that, our visitors will have had quite a shuffle during the break, so last year’s final table placing will have no relevance on Saturday’s outcome.

For the Rams, it’s good to see so many of last season’s squad still with us, although like the supporters, they will be looking to better a slightly disappointing 14th spot last time.

We welcome the newcomers to the team, along with those newly recruited by manager Mark Fell, off the pitch, and trust that everyone manages to quickly create the sort of bond that every successful side needs.

It’s always difficult to predict what lies ahead over the next nine months, but as with any journey, we start with one small step.

Tomorrow’s game against market Drayton Town is Ramsbottom United’s.

Let’s hope for a decent crowd down at the HWRS and a winning start to what we all hope will be a successful season.

Rammy manager Mark Fell spoke to ahead of this fixture and he said:

“We’re all looking forward to getting cracking, I think things have really come together in the last 10 days and the lads have put the overtime in this week to ensure we’re fully prepared. We’ve done our homework on Market Drayton as they will have done with us so we have a good idea of the challenges they’ll bring – but we go into the game and the season with a confidence and optimism.”

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