THERE are no lofty targets at Maes Tegid ahead of the big kick-off.
Bala Town will begin their Welsh Premier League campaign on Friday night with a tussle at home to Newtown.
A top-three finish was the reward last time out following another consistent campaign from the Lakesiders, but team boss Colin Caton is warning that his side is sure to face plenty of tough challenges over the coming months.
Caton admitted: “There are clubs that have been in the Welsh Premier for 10 or 12 years who have never qualified for Europe.
“But, it’s four out of the last five seasons for us.
“There are a lot of teams who are pushing the financial boundaries to take that (European football) from us.
“Bangor are one and Connah’s Quay are going full time this year.
“We will stand by our financial restraints.
“The league’s going to be really difficult, because everybody’s strong.
“Somebody won’t do as well and some clubs will break into the top group.”
Caton added: “We are not setting any targets.
“It would be nice to get into the top-six and get an automatic play-off place.
“But, our only target is Newtown on Friday.
“It will be very tough and (Newtown manager) Chris Hughes has done a fantastic job.
“They were in a false position last season, but they pulled things around.
“I know they’ve lost the likes of Jason Oswell and Shane Sutton, but they will be tough opposition.”
In complete contrast to 12 months ago, the Lakesiders will be injury-free for the big kick-off.
Conall Murtagh is available following a limited pre-season programme, while Andrei Jones has recovered from a few injury niggles.
The only player who is missing for Bala is Ryan Wade, who is sitting out a four-match suspension.
“We are always ready!” added the Bala boss.
“The pre-season has been long because of the European thing.
“But, to be in that place and celebrate when we left for Europe, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Financially, it’s wonderful for the club and it’s superb for the players and the fans.”
Kick-off at Maes Tegid on Friday night is 7.45pm.
In further news at the club, Bala Town have this week launched a supporters’ club for the 2017-18 season.
This will exclusively be for the club’s younger supporters and it will be split into two categories – Mini Lakesiders and Youth Lakesiders.
The Mini Lakesiders section is open for anyone up to the age of 11 years and it costs £10 per season to become a member.
Open to those aged between 12 and 16 years, the Youth Lakesiders club also costs £10 per season.
Membership forms are available from Maes Tegid and further information is available by e-mailing community@balatownfc.
Alternatively, visit www.balatownfc.co.uk
See full story in the Free Press