AS they prepare to get their campaign underway, Warrington Rylands will be aiming to pick up where they left off.

Their first season in the Northern Premier League’s top flight ended with a run of five wins from their last seven games as they secured a highly-promising 10th-place finish.

Now, the aim is to build upon that and manager Michael Clegg has been busy assembling his own squad for his first full season in charge.

A considerable acid test of their credentials comes on Saturday as they welcome Radcliffe – one of the pre-season favourites for promotion – to Gorsey Lane in their season opener, but Clegg is looking forward to seeing how his charges stack up.

“We played some really good football towards the back end of last year and there was a real “feel-good factor” around the place,” he said.

“The club has great people involved in it who give their time and effort – all we have to do is turn up and play football.

“We’ve got the easy job, really. It feels like home for me now having been here since February – I’m really enjoying it.

“Radcliffe is a great game for us – their ambitions for this season are well documented. They’ve recruited well and they’re going to be going for it.

“We’ve got to make sure that when they come here, they’re going to have to roll their sleeves up to take points off us. That’s not just Radcliffe, that’s anyone.

“They’ve put a really strong squad together so it will be a good test for us to see where we’re at.”

Clegg’s off-season recruits range from players who have seen everything at this level before such as defenders Matt Regan and James Butler and midfielder Ben Hardcastle to those who are on the rise such as forward Adamah Sidibeh, who has been in the goals during pre-season.

As well as retaining the likes of Dean Furman, Sam Egerton, Mo Touray and new club captain James Neild among others, he has also kept a strong core of the squad he inherited together.

His aim is to keep the squad small and competitive for what lies ahead.

“We’ve worked really hard over the summer and we’re looking strong,” he said, commenting on the club’s pre-season displays.

“Obviously, it doesn’t mean anything until August 12 but we couldn’t be any happier than we are right now.

“We’re trying to build something – we look strong and organised, people know their roles. We just have to keep building on it.

“To be honest, recruitment has been pretty easy. We knew what we wanted early – we wanted lads we could trust.

“We didn’t want a massive group although we’d look to add to it if and when injuries and suspensions come up.

“We’ve got a 16 to 17-man squad all fighting for 11 shirts, and they’re going to be up for that.

“I’ve brought in lads who I’m familiar with and know the level, but we’ve brought in a couple of lads who look like rough diamonds as well.

“Up to this point, we couldn’t be happier. Everyone can see how we’re trying to play and hopefully we can see more of that as the season progresses.”

“For me, I look at teams like Gainsborough and Bamber Bridge – the success they had with the consistency of their squad and they stuck to playing a certain way.

“We’ve tried to follow a similar path of working with a squad that stays consistent – we don’t want a high turnover of players this year.

“We’ve recruited people to play a certain way, but everyone will get our respect.

“We’re going to have some good and bad days, but it’s a fight we’re really up for this year.”