THE big kick-off is fast approaching and excitement levels are building as we begin our Northern Premier League season this weekend.

It’s been a long wait, but the league action is finally back.

We’ve had a long but fairly successful pre-season campaign which has seen us face some tough opposition, but we’ve stood up to the tests well and can go into the new season with a sense of optimism.

Only League One outfit Crewe Alexandra have beaten us convincingly, and even then, the result didn’t tell the full story as we had some good opportunities that unfortunately we didn’t take.

The recruitment has been excellent over the close season.

I believe we have a strong squad once more, capable of challenging at the upper end of the table.

Steve McNulty’s arrival has stolen the headlines somewhat, and he is an excellent addition to the squad with his immense experience and leadership.

He’s been there, done it and has a wardrobe full of t-shirts.

He’s a big character and he’ll bring the best out of others as well as being a key player in his own right with his excellent qualities.

But we’ve also added very astutely in other areas, and attacking wise, manager Carl Macauley has a number of options that in previous seasons he has lacked.

The acquisitions of Steven Tames and James Hooper are very good.

Both players know the club from previous spells, albeit brief in Hooper’s case, but we know what they’re going to bring to the table.

Tames is an excellent goalscorer at this level and has proven that over the years, while Hooper is a more creative force in attack but also knows where the back of the net is.

Add in the likes of Scott Bakkor and Will Jones and I think we’ll be a danger to most defences this term.

And the key members of the squad from last season has been retained.

There was a good core to the squad, and the management team have added to it nicely in my opinion.

For the first time in a while, our season opener is at home!

We’re used to travelling here, there and everywhere on the first day of the season, but this year, it will be nice to have our home comforts.

The team’s form at Wincham Park has been strong in recent years, and we’ll need that to be the case once more if we want to be a threat at the top of the league standings.

Wittoners can play their part.

And the support with season ticket sales and memberships for this season, as well as the generous donations we received during the COVID situation has been a huge help.

Get right behind the team and hopefully we’ll have a season with plenty to cheer about!