Jarrow Roofing expecting ‘tough’ start to league season

Jarrow Roofing manager Richie McLoughlin
Jarrow Roofing manager Richie McLoughlin

Jarrow Roofing begin their Northern League Division One season tomorrow when they travel to Teesside to face newly-promoted Norton & Stockton Ancients.

The game, a contest between the two previous winners of the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Trophy, is one which Roofing manager Richie McLoughlin acknowledges is going to be a challenge for his Roofers to open the season with.

“Every season-opener is tough, because everyone is keen to get going,” McLoughlin said, while also stating that the recent upheaval at Norton might be a potential stumbling block after previous manager Andy Campbell and a clutch of players left after winning promotion from Division Two.

He added: “Obviously their new manager, Adam Rundle, is from South Shields so, facing a South Tyneside club, I think he’ll be really fired up for this one.”

The game comes nine days after the Roofers’ final pre-season game, a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Northern Alliance champions Blyth Town, and the Roofing supremo is pleased with how his side’s preparations have gone over the last month.

He said: “Pre-season has been good. It has been a bit tricky to get all of the players there, as it’s the summer, but I think the new signings we’ve made are gelling quite nicely within the squad.”

Going into tomorrow’s game against Norton, the Roofers have almost a full squad available, with the only exception being full-back Corey Barnes, who is unavailable for the 3pm kick-off.