Town poised for big kick off

Football - Brighouse Town v Worksop.'Leon Henry for Brighouse.
Football - Brighouse Town v Worksop.'Leon Henry for Brighouse.

Brighouse Town open their Northern Counties East Premier Division prgramme on Saturday in what will be their 50th Anniversary Season -1963-2013.

They entertain Bradford club Albion Sports (3.00) and the match sponsor is Andy Thornton’s Architectural Antiques, where vice chairman Charles Tolley is managing director.

Albion Sports gained promotion last term as Division One Champions in only their second season in the NCEL.

Town chairman Ray McLaughlin commented: “Albion Sports have shown their ambition with some very good signings, and I’m sure they’ll be a force to reckoned with in the Premier Division this season.

“The promoted sides always bring the winning momentum with them into the new season, so all in all, we know we couldn’t have asked for a much tougher opening game to the new season.

“After the most successful season in the Town’s history last season, we bring a certain amount of momentum into the new season ourselves.

“Ultimately, we just fell short of our goal to win promotion, but there is no way I could consider finishing second to Scarborough and amassing 97 points as any kind of a failure.

“ If the `rumour mill’ is right, there are going to be more teams than ever fighting for the top places in the League, making what is always a very competitive League even more so this time.

“Paul Quinn has managed to keep the majority of last season’s squad together, albeit a few of them are carrying injuries that may prevent them starting the season.

“However, Quinny has drafted in a few new faces that, from what I’ve seen, should make for a stronger squad overall, and I’d like to welcome all the new lads to the club, wish them success, and hope they enjoy their time representing Brighouse Town.”

Manager Quinn added: “As usual it has been a frenetic pre season with plenty of dialogue regarding players and lots of performances to analyse from our pre season games.

“Overall I have been delighted with the progress we have made over the last six or seven weeks and although pre-season is always great to be able to shape the team, nothing beats the feeling on the morning of a competitive match.

“Albion is a tough opener for us, not only as a local derby but also a newly promoted side with lots of ambition within the club. We can’t have prepared better for the game and it will be up to us to make sure we start this long and gruelling campaign in a positive manner.

“I have spoken at length to the players about the importance of the squad and it is essential we have the strongest possible group. As we found out last season a strong eleven is not enough to gain success we must have a strong group and that includes the coaching staff. “

Quinn has admitted he will have a selection headache come Friday night into Saturday but adds that the games are set to come thick and fast so he needs his new additions on top of his proven acquisitions from last term.

Wing back Leon Henry has been captaining the side in the pre-season programme and it will be interesting to see if the highly talented player keeps the armband.

On Tuesday night Town travel to Tadcaster Albion (7.45) where the club is said to be in turmoil after their chairman and financial backer Rob Northfield suddenly quit last week.

Northfield has said his departure was due to family reasons.

Then on Saturday week Town entertain Seaham Red Star from the north east in the extra Preliminary round of the FA Cup.