THE holidays may have finished... but the Holy days are approaching for two Huws Gray Alliance clubs!
Denbigh Town and Ruthin Town both begin their campaigns this weekend in the second tier and the duo have tough challenges to kick things off.
Eddie Maurice-Jones’ Denbigh play host to Holywell Town on Saturday, while Chris Williams’ Ruthin Town make the long trek to Holyhead Hotspurs.
“Preparations have been going well,” said Maurice-Jones ahead of the big kick-off.
“We have had a few injury concerns through pre-season and holidays, but I’m sure every manager has to deal with that.
“Everyone is ready to go.
“Kristian Pierce and Josh Davies have come in and they’re two Denbighshire lads.
“They tick all the boxes for me.
“They’re two lads that can play at Welsh Premier League level.”
Denbigh have also brought in the experienced Danny Sullivan and Maurice-Jones is challenging his players to secure a top-six finish in the league.
“We are set up to be better than last season, which we are going to be,” he said.
“We surprised a few clubs last season.
“If we can set off with a platform and compete at the top, we would be very happy people.
“We are looking at the top-six.
“If we play to our strengths and our capabilities, we will give anyone a game.
“For me, Caernarfon, Flint and Airbus will be up there, while Holywell will surprise a few teams.”
Elsewhere, Ruthin Town open their campaign on Saturday with a difficult trip to Holyhead Hotspurs.
The Anglesey side are tipped by many to be one of the frontrunners this year in a league that can also boast clubs like Airbus UK Broughton, Rhyl, Porthmadog and Caernarfon Town.
Ruthin, who have kept all of last season’s squad, have added quality defenders Mike Sharples and Elliott Slade, goalkeeper Ryan Goldstone, striker Tryfan Jones and midfielders Ed Jones, Gwion Owen and Tom Roberts to their squad.
They also have Craig Wilkinson and Llyr Morris available for every week during the forthcoming season.
Town manager Chris Williams said: ”I’m really happy with the way things have gone.
“Pre-season has been good, the squad is stronger and competition for places will be tough.
“Clearly, we will be underdogs, but we are ready for the challenge.”
Looking ahead to Saturday, Williams added: “Going to Holyhead is going to be difficult for the first game, but we all know that every game is challenging in this league.
“I will be assessing how things have gone in training before selecting the squad for Saturday.”
Ruthin concluded their pre-season programme with a 2-0 triumph at Hawarden Rangers last Saturday.
Gwion Owen and Sam Jones grabbed the goals for victorious Town.
See full story in the Free Press