TOMMY LAWSON believes Skelmersdale United will be given an ideal examination of their credentials as they make their Evo-Stik League Northern Premier Division bow against Rushall Olympic this weekend.
Skem will travel to the West Midlands on Saturday looking to make an impact following last season’s impressive promotion.
And Lawson says Rushall – who challenged at the top end of the Premier Division last season – will provide the perfect opposition, and a useful gauge as to where his side are at.
“Their history suggests they are one of the better sides in this division,” he said.
“They were rarely out of the top six last season, and challenged for promotion for much of the campaign.
“So it’s a perfect test for us. It will tell us a lot about where we are and how far we have to go.
“We can go there nice and confident after a good pre-season, and I think it’s fair to say everyone at the club is really looking forward to it.”
Skem have won admirers from afar during pre-season with their commitment to passing, attractive football, and Lawson has been encouraged by the players he has managed to bring in, despite losing several key members of the promotion side.
Defender Tony Rendell, a fringe player last season, is the latest to depart, having joined league rivals Marine.
“We’ve done well in pre-season, I think we have won a lot of friends with our football,”Lawson said.
“We’ve tested ourselves against class opposition, and we have been competitive in every game we have played.
“The serious stuff starts now.
“We will get the players all suited and booted in training on Thursday, give them their tracksuits and polo shirts, and we will head to Rushall looking to make a good impression, which I am sure we can do.”
Lawson could be without defender Rob McIntosh, who is struggling with a knee injury sustained a fortnight ago.
Lewis Field (hip) and Aaron Turner (knee), meanwhile, are set for surgery, and could be absent for some time.
Lawson says he is looking at the prospect of bringing in “one or two” fresh faces, though could not give a timescale on those arrivals.
UNITED’S first home game of the Evo-Stik League season will be next Tuesday evening, August 20, against Nantwich Town. Kick-off is 7.45pm.
Skem North football event a success – P65
Skipper inspires win for first XI – P67