Tigers burning bright for new season

HYDE United are ready to go ahead of what is described as a ‘tough’ start to the coming season.

But manager Dave McGurk believes the group of players he has at his disposal has the attitude needed to push for promotion.

The rookie boss’ first campaign in the BetVictor Northern Premier League, Premier Division gets underway on Saturday, August 17 with a home fixture against Basford United.

The fixture computer has not exactly been kind, with several tough tests in the opening weeks, including facing relegated FC United of Manchester and a trip to the North-East to face South Shields, who averaged more than 1,500 fans at home games last term.

However, McGurk – who replaced Darren Kelly – is more than confident his side has what it takes and revealed more new faces are set to arrive, despite frustrations in the transfer market.

He said: “We have been given a tough start. The first four games are against teams that I expect to be up there come the end of season but it’s a challenge we are all looking forward to.

“It’s a tougher league this season than last and we have found that out in the summer transfer market.

“On numerous occasions we find ourselves unable to match the financial power that some teams possess with contracts that they are offering to players.”

McGurk named Jordan Fagbola as club captain for the coming season while a number of players have either left or come in at Ewen Fields.

However, the man in charge insists he is happy with what he has at his disposal, especially when it comes to attitude.

He added: “We are very happy with our recruitment.

“We have a young team and there will be ups and downs but there is a group of players that will run through brick walls for the football club and that mentality alone will help us pick up points.

“Every player wants to improve and it’s our job to create an environment for them to flourish.

“I am probably three or four players away from the squad I am looking for and we will be using the loan market.

“Myself and my assistant, John McCombe, have spent a lot of time on club visits to Football League clubs.

“It’s important to build up relationships with the local clubs in higher leagues and create a trust that we will look after their players.

“As a result, Cain Noble will be joining us from Chester and Oran Thompson will be coming in from Huddersfield Town.”

Hyde finished their pre-season preparations with a match against a Huddersfield Town XI on Thursday, August 8 before taking on Tameside rivals Droylsden for the Ray Stanley Shield on Saturday, August 10.

After a week break, it is straight into the thick of league action with five games in August alone and with ambitious sides like Warrington Town and near neighbours Ashton United and Stalybridge Celtic also in the division, it promises to be an interesting campaign.

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