ON Saturday Keith Checkett’s Highgate begin a fifth consecutive season in the Midland Football Alliance with the visit of Tipton Town to Tythe Barn Lane, kick-off 3pm.
It’s a tough start against a team they failed to beat in four league and cup meetings last season with just a 0-0 draw breaking a sequence of defeats to their Black Country opponents.
The match will be followed by midweek visits to Stratford Town on Tuesday, August 7 and Bridgnorth Town one week later.
In between Gate are in FA Cup action when they entertain West Midlands Premier League outfit, Herefordshire based Wellington on Saturday August 11 (3pm).
Having narrowly avoided relegation the last time round and never having won on the opening day since promotion to the MFA, boss Checketts will be hoping his side can break that duck and get the new campaign off to a positive start.
Disappointment that Steffano Abonandi has failed to recover from injury and the loss of Trevor Edwards to local rivals Studley has been tempered by the return of Tom Reynolds from Causeway, a player equally suited to a back four or midfield role.
With the addition of new faces, Checketts and his assistant Dennis Mulholland are hopeful of putting together a squad capable of shaking off their tag of perennial strugglers in what is sure to be a competitive league which will include new teams Continental Star, Stourport Swifts and Gornal.