Gloucester City manager Tim Harris is expecting a tough task as the Tigers kick-off their first ever National League South season at Chelmsford City tomorrow.
Chelmsford came so close to promotion last season, narrowly missing out in the play-off final to pre-season title favourites Ebbsfleet United.
There is no doubting the credentials that Chelmsford have as potential champions of the National League South this season, something that Harris is well aware of.
“We all know that this is a tough league and it’s very open, any one of 10 teams have their chances of winning it and Chelmsford are very much in that group.
“However, we aren’t going into the game blind, so to speak, as we’ve done our homework and with the reports we’ve received we know what they’re about.
“They have several ex-Football League players in their side and it’s a group that are full of experience so there is no doubting it will be a tough game.”
Among the Clarets’ side are players like Elliott Omozusi, Chris Dickson and Craig Braham-Barrett, all of whom have significant Football League experience.
Omozusi, 28, has played over a century of games for Leyton Orient as well as appearing for Fulham, Norwich City and Charlton Athletic.
Dickson, 32, is a well-travelled striker who has played for the likes of Gillingham, Bristol Rovers and Crewe Alexandra, as well as making two full caps for the Ghanaian national team.
Craig Braham-Barrett should be a name familiar to Tigers fans, as the ex-Cheltenham Town left back has also played for Peterborough United, Macclesfield and Braintree Town.
Harris said that with all the experience Chelmsford possess, his side will have to raise their game against the pre-season title favourites.
“A lot of people have them down as favourites for the league and for good reason. They are a very good side.
“We have to raise our performance to the same levels of what they were when we played Stockport County on the last game of last season and if we do that I am confident of a result.”
Tom Webb is unavailable for the trip to Essex but should be back next week, but Ethan Moore has recovered from an ankle knock and will be available.
New signing Robbie Cundy will go straight into the squad for Tim Harris’ selection.