Newness abounds for Alfreton Town as they prepare for the big kick-off this Saturday when Woking FC visit the Impact Arena.
After progressing really well in their first three seasons in the Conference’s top flight, culminating in an 11th-placed finish last time around, excitement is building for a fourth successive campaign in the Conference’s top flight.
This time, however, there will be a new experience as Alfreton actually begin the campaign with a home game, having been on the road for each one of the last three seasons.
And manager Nicky Law will be hoping for another new experience, a victory, after seeing his side succumb to defeats in each of their opening games over the past three seasons.
Law will certainly be keen for his new-look squad to hit the ground running and signs in pre-season games have been very promising despite an unexpected 4-1 home defeat against Solihull Moors last Friday.
A crop of shrewd signings has seen Law add a good dose of experience, particularly in defence, and also an abundance of youth and energy throughout the squad.
Law has brought in 12 new signings including four players who have previously been with the club on loan over the past few seasons back to the Impact Arena.
Jay McFadzean is the latest addition and has signed non-contract terms with Alfreton Town. The 22-year-old has reached an agreement with the Reds for a second season and netted his first goal for the club in the 4-1 home pre-season defeat against Solihull Moors on Friday.
The son of former Reds star John, Jay is a midfield player with bags of potential who can also slot in behind the front two and has come highly recommended to the club by his brother Kyle, another former Alfreton legend who has recently moved from Crawley Town to MK Dons.
Indeed, the squad so far looks to have strength and power running throughout it with several players on the incoming side having plenty to prove, as they try to show previous employers that they have made a mistake, whilst at the same time they already know what is required of the level.
Ironically, every club that has beaten the Reds on the opening day over the past three seasons has gone on to suffer relegation although Dartford, last season’s conquerors with a 1-0 win in Kent, have been reprieved this time around due to circumstances elsewhere.
This Saturday’s curtain raiser is the start of a very tough opening to the campaign for the Reds who follow up with a brace of away games at strongly fancied Kidderminster Harriers and big spending Forest Green Rovers next Tuesday (7.45pm) and Saturday (3pm) respectively.