Jarrow Roofing open their Northern League Division One season with the visit of FA Vase winners Morpeth Town to Boldon.
The Northumberland club defeated Hereford at Wembley Stadium last month to lift the Vase and having finished in fourth place in the league table last term, will present a tough test for Richie McLoughlin’s Roofers.
“That’s a good start,” said the Roofing boss. “It’s a nice, hard beginning to the new season.
“Morpeth played brilliantly at Wembley and it’s great that we’re starting the new league season off with a big game.”
Roofing then face Dunston UTS, again at Boldon, before trips to newly promoted Ryhope CW, who join this level for the first time in their history, and Newton Aycliffe.
The first South Tyneside derby comes in September when South Shields host Roofing on a Tuesday night at Mariners Park before the return game at Boldon at the end of January.
That opening league game of the season may come after Roofing’s first competitive game of the campaign.
The Northern League originally planned to start on Saturday, August 6, but have delayed the opening round of fixtures due to a clash with the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup which has been scheduled for the same day.
The FA Cup draw is still to be made, as is the FA Vase draw for the new season.
However, in the League Cup, Roofing will travel to second division Easington in the first round with the winners then away to either West Auckland or Heaton Stannington in the second round.
Looking ahead to the squad that will be available for the opening game of the season, McLoughlin admitted that there will be some new faces in the Roofing ranks.
“We’re looking good now with a number of players committed to us for the new season.
“There have been approaches from elsewhere which we’ve turned down and we do have some quality players being added to the squad now we are in a position to sign them.
“After our shocking defensive performances last season, where we conceded so many goals, our focus going into August will be tightening up at the back, which obviously starts from defensive qualities of everyone in the team.
“Now the fixtures are out, I can’t wait to get started and down to business.”