WITTON Albion are ready to attack the new season.

That has been the focus of boss Carl Macauley’s summer recruitment, with the likes of Steven Tames, James Hooper and Scott Bakkor returning to Wincham Park.

With that trio among others added to what he already had, Macauley has a plethora of attacking options for the new Pitching In Northern Premier League Premier Division season, which begins tomorrow with a home match against Whitby Town, kick off 3pm.

With that in mind, will Macauley sacrifice some of the defensive solidity his teams are built upon to unlock his side in attack?

Northwich Guardian:

Scott Bakkor has returned to Witton Albion to bolster their attacking options. Picture by Karl Brooks Photography

“We’ve got to be organised again, that’s for sure,” he said.

“When we do transition into attack and use the options we have, we can’t be leaving ourselves wide open.

“We have to be ready for any potential counter-attack. Nothing changes in that department.

“We knew we needed to strengthen the squad and I think we’ve done that very well.

“There’s a strong group of 16-17 lads who will be fighting for places for that Whitby game and beyond.

“That’s given us a better chance of coping if and when injuries come along – we really struggled with that at times last season because the squad was a lot smaller.

“We’ve added quality which is going to make us stronger.”

For the first time in over a year, Macauley will be able to include Rob Hopley in his thinking.

The experienced striker played for 20 minutes off the bench in Tuesday’s 2-1 friendly defeat to Macclesfield Town – his first appearance since suffering a catastrophic knee injury against Kidsgrove Athletic last pre-season.

Northwich Guardian:

Rob Hopley is back after a horrendous knee injury saw him miss the entirety of last season. Picture by Karl Brooks Photography

With the likes of Will Booth and skipper Josh Wardle also getting minutes in the tank after long-term injury, Macauley has plenty of options.

After the Covid-19 pandemic forced the 2019-20 season to be declared null and void, Albion’s divisional rivals have not changed.

Even so, Macauley expects a rise in standards.

“We know it’s going to be a difficult season, but we’re certainly looking forward to it,” he said.

“I think the standard will rise if you look at the way teams have added.

“South Shields have strengthened, Matlock have strengthened and so have others.

“We were probably a little bit short of where we wanted to be, which is why we organised the Macclesfield game for Tuesday.

“We wanted to get some people who have maybe lacked minutes up to speed.

“With that, everyone will hopefully be topped up and ready to go.”