Bamber Bridge can lay down a marker tomorrow when they take on Lancaster City at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
Neil Reynolds’ men host the Dolly Blues in what will be their final pre-season friendly before the start of the new league campaign next weekend.
The match is unofficially being billed as the ‘Charity Shield’ of the Northern Premier League.
Phil Brown’s men finished last season as First Division North champions, while Brig stormed to success in the League Cup.
The two sides have clashed many times in league matches over the last few years, but City’s promotion to the Premier Division has brought an end to that particular fixture – for the time being at least.
Despite it being a friendly match, Reynolds is treating tomorrow’s game like the start of the season and is looking for a good result and performance so that his team head into their first league game at Radcliffe Borough with momentum.
“The game against Lancaster is a massive one for us,” Reynolds said.
“With them winning the league and getting promoted to the division above, it’s a chance for us to put a marker down for the new season.
“We will be able to see how far away we are from a Premier Division team. I think with the squad that we have got, it’s certainly good enough for the First Division North and the one above.”
Reynolds has been busy in the transfer market over the summer, bringing in a number of new players.
New boys Brad Carsley and Matt Dudley look set to start together in attack, while Danny Forbes and the return of Matty Kay will provide competition in midfield for Michael Potts, Jamie Milligan and Sam Staunton-Turner.
One player who won’t feature tomorrow is defender Callum Jones, who has left the club despite only joining last month.
“We had 18 on duty against Longridge Town on Tuesday, but we will only have 16 in the squad against Lancaster – and it will be that 16 who will almost certainly be on duty for the first league game against Radcliffe,” said Reynolds.
“I’ve had to whittle the squad down over the course of the summer.
“We’ve had 30 coming to training, but we will have a squad of about 20 players for the start of the season.”
Reynolds admits he is excited about the potential of his new strikeforce Carsley and Dudley.
“Brad has done well in pre-season and has scored some goals,” said Reynolds. “He will play up top and will allow others to play.
“Danny gets into little pockets, plays what we call the No.10 role. He will look to get on the ball.”
Meanwhile, defender Josh Heaton’s future still remains unclear after his proposed move to Darlington his a stumbling block.