Hinckley AFC kick off their Midland League Division One campaign at Stafford Town tomorrow, and assistant manager Paul Tomlinson says the squad are full of confidence.
AFC’s first league game of the season sees a trip to Evans Park as Carl Abbott’s side face a Stafford side who top the league table after one game.
While Hinckley were in Emirates FA Cup action at Worksop seven days ago, Stafford were playing their league opener with a 3-0 win over newcomers Coventry Alvis.
Tomlinson says the side will take great heart from their win at Worksop and will be carrying that into the league campaign. He said: “You always go into the season with high expectations and the lads will be carrying some good confidence on the back of Saturday’s result.”
It will be Hinckley’s first trip to Evans Park since the 3G artificial pitch was installed, with the corresponding fixture last year played at Stafford Rangers while the pitch was laid.
Hinckley won all three of their fixtures on artificial pitches last year, and with Stafford, Chelmsley Town, Lichfield City and Paget Rangers all playing their home games on such surfaces that run is something AFC will be looking to continue.
Tomlinson, though, is looking forward to the challenge. “Everyone knows that we’ll try and play our football when you put us on a 3G or a 4G pitch. We know we can get the ball down and play and we’ve got some good footballers in the team.
“But Stafford will have some good, fit, young players who are used to playing on that surface whereas we aren’t so much.
“We’re relishing getting on that sort of a pitch. It was only laid last year so it’s a new pitch and it will hopefully allow us to get the ball down and play some free flowing football.”
Evans Park can be found off Fairway, Stafford, ST16 3TL. Stafford have advised supporters to use the correct car park tomorrow – details were posted earlier at http://hinckleyafc.co.uk/2017/08/11/a-message-from-stafford-town/