SKIPPER Jay McCarten says this year’s Warrington Town squad is the best he has seen at the club.

Since joining in 2012, McCarten has been part of some memorable times at Cantilever Park.

He was part of the team that reached the FA Cup second round during the 2014-15 season, beating League Two side Exeter City in the process, and was influential in the following year’s record-breaking promotion from the Evo-Stik First Division North.

However, the 26-year-old believes this squad has the potential to top the lot.

“In terms of the quality we have, I’d have to say it is the best squad I’ve worked with here,” he said.

“A lot of the lads we’ve brought in were playing Conference football last year. That’s big for a club at our level.

“If we can get off to a good start, it’s in our hands what we can achieve.

“Starting well sets you up with momentum going through the middle part of the season. If we can do that, we’ve got to be looking at promotion one way or another.

“It’s exciting to be a part of. We’re all itching to get going now.”

Yellows kick off the new Evo-Stik Premier Division season by welcoming Rushall Olympic to Cantilever Park on Saturday.

This campaign will include games against reputable clubs such as Altrincham and Stalybridge Celtic as well as ‘derby’ clashes with neighbours Witton Albion.

McCarten believes Town should not be overawed by the prospect of facing anybody in the division.

“It’s going to be a tough league again, we saw that last year,” he said.

“Games against the likes of Altrincham are as big as they come at this level. They are the games you want to be involved in.

“There are some big teams in this league but, on our day, I’m confident we can be a match for any of them.”

Centre-half McCarten is preparing for his first full campaign in possession of the Yellows armband having taken over the captaincy from Ciaran Kilheeney during last season.

He says he was honoured to take the role when manager Paul Carden offered it to him upon taking over at Cantilever Park.

McCarten and midfielder Ged Kinsella are the only surviving members of the team that won promotion just over a year ago, but he feels the changes Carden has made have been positive.

“It is a massive honour for me to be captain of this club,” he said.

“It’s a job I wanted to do and it was great to be asked by the gaffer when he took over.

“There’s been a lot of changes, even just from the end of last season, but we’re in a good place.

“We’ve had a good pre-season. Nobody really enjoys it but the things Paul has brought in will help us.

“There’s been a lot more ball work and coaching drills, rather than just out-and-out running like it has been before.

“I missed a fair bit of the running and I’m told it was tough, but we’ve had a really positive build-up.”