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.