Starting as they mean to go on

Every manager stresses the value of starting a new season well, something that is more important for those clubs with designs on challenging for promotion.

Witton finished 10 points adrift of a play-offs position last term – a gap they are seeking to close.

One way of achieving that is to improve on results against the same opponents in the previous campaign.

That will be tricky; Albion won at Whitby, and beat Nantwich at home, last time out.

However their other opponents during August are promoted teams South Shields and Hyde United.

On the three most recent occasions when they have reached the Premier Division play-offs – in 2007, 2008 and 2013 – they collected at least seven points in the opening month and never lost more than once.

A new destination to visit (kind of)

Albion’s game at South Shields, who won the Division One North title last season, on the opening day will be a first league meeting between them.

However Witton did prevail in an FA Cup tie against the same opponents in 1998 – almost 20 years ago.

All of the other teams in the Northern Premier League’s top-flight this season have been foes on the field previously.

However a trip to Gainsborough Trinity in December will be the first for a Premier Division game since February 1997.

Albion lost 3-0 that day.

Who are Witton most looking forward to playing?

Carl Macauley’s men put nine goals past Stalybridge Celtic in two meetings last season, including five in their most recent encounter in April.

They also completed doubles against Whitby Town and relegated Sutton Coldfield Town.

Conversely, no opponent got the better of Albion in both occasions.

However Farsley Celtic and Matlock Town, as well as champions Altrincham, all scored five goals across the two games.

Curiously, Witton also found the net at least once against every rival that they faced.

When are the derbies?

The two clubs closest to Northwich, both of them in Cheshire, are Nantwich and Warrington.

Meetings with those teams have been fixed on holiday dates:

Aug 27        Nantwich Town (h)

Dec 26        Warrington Town (h)

Jan 01         Nantwich Town (a)

Apr 22        Warrington Town (a)

They’re going THERE in midweek?

Witton are scheduled to visit Scarborough Athletic, their fourth longest away trip, on the first Tuesday in October.

According to the AA, a journey from Wincham Park to the Seadogs’ new home at the Flamingo Land Stadium is a round trip of around 275 miles.

Of the other midweek away games on a fixture list published by the Northern Premier League on Thursday morning, the next furthest is to Basford – near Nottingham – on a Monday.

Coincidentally that road run will follow another trek, this time close to 150 miles north to Cumbria, to Workington little more than 48 hours earlier.