Hednesford Town Manager Rob Smith has spoken of his excitement at renewing old rivalries and old acquaintances following the publication of The Pitmen’s fixtures for the 2013/14 season as his side embark on their Football Conference North campaign after winning promotion last season.
The Keys Park outfit start with an away trip to Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday August 17th before welcoming Leamington for their first home game of the year on Tuesday 20th, a team The Pitmen beat in 2011’s ultimately unsuccessful run in the Southern League playoffs.
The Leamington match is followed by an August Bank Holiday double header against Oxford City at home and Worcester City away but both supporters and manager alike have had their heads turned by the eye-catching Christmas/New Year schedule.
The Pitmen play Smith’s former club AFC Telford at Keys Park on Boxing Day then travel to The New Bucks Head on New Year’s Day, with an away trip to Leamington sandwiched in between, and then welcome league rivals from last year North Ferriby United on Saturday January 4th.
‘Obviously for me personally the one game I can’t wait for is Telford away. I had four and a half very happy years there and it will be great to go back with Hednesford.
The feeling around the squad is just one of excitement. These are the types of games that we all want to be involved in. This year will be a massive challenge, we will not set any targets but just win as many games as we can.’
Hednesford’s pre-season campaign gets under way next week with the now annual curtain raiser away to AFC Wulfrunians on Tuesday 9th July before Keys Park reopens its doors for a home fixture versus Sutton Coldfield Town on Saturday 13th July with Smith upbeat about the atmosphere in the squad and confident that he will get what he wants from the pre-season fixtures.
‘It feels like we’ve never had a break, all the lads are still in superb spirits. We have a number of trialists training with us but getting fit and organising for the start of the league campaign is the ultimate aim.’