Jarrow Roofing kick-off the new season with a trip to Lancashire to face Barnoldswick Town in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.
Joint manager Richie McLoughlin is relishing the start of the campaign after completing a solid, and morale-boosting, pre-season. McLoughlin’s men lost just one of six pre-season games, with three of those victories securing the Tyne & Wear LGV Summer Cup.
“I am looking forward to the game on Saturday, as are the coaches and players,” McLoughlin said.
“Pre-season has been good, with a loss in the first match, but even that was a good game to take a look at a few things that needed sorting and we played the rest of the friendlies with more commitment and more like a team”.
When asked about what to expect on Saturday’s trip to Barnoldswick, who finished eleventh in the North West Counties League last season, McLoughlin made clear his awareness of where the opposition’s strengths lie.
“They are strong, well organised and fairly direct with a lot of big lads. But we have some very good players who can test them and give them problems so we will go down there to play and look for the win, though it will be hard”.
The Roofers will be without a handful of players due to injury, with new acquisitions David Palmer and Paul Garthwaite facing late fitness tests. Dennis Knight is available though having missed some of the pre-season games due to holiday.
Roofing will look to take a tough start to the season in their stride as a busy opening week also sees them begin their Northern League Division One campaign at home against Bishop Auckland on Tuesday night and then facing promotion-hopefuls Shildon the following Saturday afternoon.
Though despite the tough start facing McLoughlin’s side, the Roofing supremo expressed faith in the coping abilities of his team.
“It will not be a problem as all of our players have a lot of experience. They have been in this league for a number of years and know what it’s all about”.
McLoughlin had previously expressed his desires for a good cup run and a top eight finish in the league this campaign and has no issues with juggling the various competitions that lie ahead.
“I remain focussed with no problem at all as to whether it’s a league or cup game and we will only take it one game at a time. I want to win regardless of it being a league or a cup match”.
“Overall it will be a hard game for us but if we play like I know we can then I’m sure it will be a hard game for them as well”.
Kick-off is 3pm at the Silentnight Beds Stadium, Barnoldswick and seats are still available on the supporters coach travelling to Lancashire. That leaves from The Shack in Boldon Colliery at 10.30am and seats, costing £15 per person, can be booked by contacting Richie McLoughlin on 07714 525 549.
- Liam Kendal