It’s a new era at Shawbridge and boss Phil Brown is determined to launch it on a winning note in the FA Cup.
Brown has spent a busy summer re-building the Blues’ squad and will send his new-look side out for the first time in competitive action in Saturday’s extra-preliminary round tie at home to 1874 Northwich .
It’s straight in at the deep end for Clitheroe against a Northwich side that has won both its opening games in the top-flight of the Hallmark Securities North-West Counties League.
But Brown, who took charge of the Blues following the end of last season, believes his side will be ready to deliver as they look to secure another home tie in the next round against Thackley or Handsworth Parramore and bank prize money worth over £2,000.
“It’s a massive game – first up in the FA Cup – and we want to get through for a number of reasons,” said the Blues’ boss, who has put together a 20-man squad made up almost entirely of new faces.
“Financially it’s important and we also want to start off in the right way.
“It won’t be easy. I’ve watched them and they have some decent players and have played a couple of games already.
“But we will start as favourites because we play at a higher level and I don’t mind that.
“I think we’ve brought some good players in and we’ve got to go out and play our game and look to go through.”
Playing an FA Cup tie first game of the season is new territory for former Lancaster City boss Bown.
But a 2-2 draw with BetVictor Premier League side Bamber Bridge in last Saturday’s final pre-season encounter bodes well for the real thing.
And Brown is pleased at how his players are gelling as they look to get up and running in the Cup ahead of the start of BetVictor North-West league programme on Saturday-week.
“We are still a work in progress, but we’ve come a long way from where we were a couple of months ago,” he added.
“Pre-season has been good and I’ve seen a progression.
“We have been getting stronger and more together with every game and I’m happy with where we are. We’re looking forward to getting started now.”
Kick-off at Shawbridge on Saturday is 3pm and all supporters must pay on the day.
However, season-ticket holders – whose ticket covers entry for all league games – will receive a complimentary voucher that can be spent in either the bar or the grub tub.
Admission: Adult (£8), Concessions (£5), Ages 14-17 (£3), Under 14 unaccompanied (£2) and Under 14 accompanied FREE.