This Saturday Darlington kick-off their new season in the Evo-Stik Premier.
After securing a dramatic promotion, via the play-offs in May, the Quakers go into another season filled with optimism.
Last year I felt the side we had had would do well in the league above and the signings we have made only strengthen that thought further.
We have managed to pick up a couple of really top quality players this summer and if fit they all should be involved in the squad on Saturday.
Phil Turnbull and Kevin Burgess both should slot straight into the side. Burgess looks a natural leader and Turnbull is proven at a much higher level.
There is still a couple of areas which concern me, back-up goalkeeper, right back and up-front.
Back in the day Provett played many times for our friends at Hartlepool. However, having not played competitively for a while he looked vulnerable when appearing in friendlies. While Jameson is undoubtedly the number one, Provett may be required due to injury or suspension.
The right-back debate has been a hot topic of conversation for all Darlo fans since Gary Brown announced he would be leaving. The problem doesn’t seem to have been solved yet. However, hopefully in the coming weeks someone will make the position their own, either one of the current squad or a player coming in.
I have nothing wrong with any of the four strikers we have on our books. However, it maybe that we only start the season with two fully fit strikers in Nathan Cartman and David Dowson. I’m not suggesting we bring someone in, but I just hope we don’t rush Armstrong back too quickly, the same applies to Purewal.
I keep thinking it’s hard to predict this season, as really, none of the fans have much of a clue about the division we are going into.
However I can’t help, but think we will be in another promotion race.
Even though they came up with us, Salford have to be made clear favourites. As we saw in January they have the power to completely change their squad if it isn’t working.
Anyway a new season is always exciting and I expect us to take a large travelling section with us to Buxton. Hopefully as we have done in all the last three seasons, we can start with a win.