Lewis Dickman has admitted that the excitement can really start to build and the plans for the new season can be finetuned after the 2023/24 National League North fixtures were revealed.
Moors will begin the new campaign on the road when they make their fourth-longest journey of the entire season to open at Banbury United on Saturday 5th August.
After narrowly missing out on a place in the play-offs on the final day of last term, there’s a real air of determination around the Moors camp following their return to pre-season training.
And Assistant Manager Dickman says that their preparation can go to the next level as they make sure everything is in place for the big kick-off.
“The main priority over the summer was to get the players in, get our squad established and settled in time for us to start training and we’ve done that.
“We’re delighted with the way the players have been since they came back and now the fixtures are there in black and white, we can really get down and concentrate on the business in hand.
“It’s let you plan a little longer term when you know where and when you’ll be playing, and you hope that all the work we’re doing now can come to fruition during what will be another long and hard season.
“We have a team of 18 to 20 players and all of them will play a part so the attitude they are showing is paramount and the way they have started pre-season training has been so encouraging.”
For the sixth time in the last eight seasons, Moors will kick-off the campaign on the road, but Dickman isn’t too bothered about the make-up of the schedule, with the focus more on the work being done to prepare.
“It could have been one of the three longer journeys I guess,” he laughed, when asked about the opening day trip to Banbury.
“Ideally, you’d want to start the season at home, but we can only control the controllables, get prepared and make sure that we go into every game with the right mindset to give us the best chance to get a result.
“The games come thick and fast during the first month, but the players thrive on that – you saw last season when we were able to taper off at training and you’re solely focused on games, we got the best out of them.”
With local bragging rights further enhanced by the promotion of South Shields to National League North, Dickman has admitted that he and the players will revel in that extra level of competition within the region.
Moors will travel to Darlington at the end of October before hosting Shields in the middle of November and Dickman knows there will be an edge to those and the return fixtures.
“With Shields coming up that was always a decent game to look out for,” he told us.
“They will be on the crest of a wave after finally winning that division and when you look at the teams that do get promoted, like we did a few years ago, you can build on that momentum.
“The Darlington games are always good ones for the supporters too so it’s up to us to ensure we prepare well for each and every fixture, enjoy them and do the very best we can.”
Having seen the power of The Brewery Field support last term, Dickman is keen for as many fans as possible come along to get behind the team during the 2023/24 campaign.
With Season Ticket sales set to surpass those of 12 months ago, Dickman knows how big their impact from the terraces can be as Moors set their sights on a successful season.
“The supporters here are fantastic,” Dickman said.
“They come and support us through thick and thin and hopefully we have built a squad that can make them proud and that they will enjoy cheering on in the new season.
“The fans are a big part of the journey and it’s brilliant that the Club recognises that by making Season Ticket prices among the best value in the division – hopefully we can get some bumper crowds and great atmospheres going through 2023/24.”