Neil Sorvel struck a defiant note as he reflected on the toughest of starts for Altrincham in their quest to go one better than last season’s promotion near-miss in the National League North.
Alty, pipped on penalties by Chorley in the play-offs semi-final, open up with an attractive but distinctly difficult test at home to big-spending, full-time former Football League outfit York City on Saturday, August 3 and follow up with a trip to Chester three days later.
Both opponents are strongly tipped to be at the forefront of this coming season’s promotion race, but Sorvel turned any sense of apprehension on its head and said: “It’s a tough one, but they will be saying exactly the same about having to face us.”
Alty’s assistant manager took charge of the team for their opening pre-season friendly at Whitchurch Alport, in the absence of boss Phil Parkinson, and was impressed with what he saw in 1-0 win secured by recent signing Conor Branson’s second goal in as many games.
As he assessed the performance and cast an eye over the prospects for the coming campaign, he said: “It was a good workout, and it showed there is going to be real competition for places in all areas, which is what we want.
“If you look at the league fixtures, it’s a tough start – York and Chester are the bookies favourites, aren’t they?”