As Banbridge Town prepare for Saturday’s curtain-raiser, the selection headaches have begun.
However, as Ryan Watson gets his side ready to host Glebe Rangers at Crystal Park on Saturday (kick-off 3pm), it’s not the sort of dilemma he was hoping for.
Having bolstered his squad over the close-season the boss was hopeful that he would have a wealth of players to choose from.
For Saturday’s game though, he’s missing a few key men. New signing Stuart Thompson (suspended) and Kevin Anderson (GAA commitments) are both unavailable while James Wilson is out with injury.
“There are a few boys missing this weekend,” admitted Watson. “We’re hoping that Stephen Jones and David Gray will both be available for selection but both have picked up injuries in pre-season.
“It’s probably going to take to the end of the month before we can get our full strength squad available. In the mean time, we have enough quality left in the squad to be able to cope.”
Watson hasn’t ruled out having one extra face availabe with trialist Colm Kirgan in discussions with the club.
The midfielder helped PSNI to promotion last year before moving to Lisburn Distillery and Watson is keen to get him signed up at Crystal Park.
The home side have won the last five meetings between Town and Glebe and Watson is keen to keep up that statistic this weekend.
“That first match is always key,” he said. “All teams are really going all out to start off with a victory and, especially at home, we want to be kicking things off with three points.
“We just want to get off to a good start. There is a really good buzz about the place leading up to the season. There’s a great anticipation so hopefully we can get a win to start the season.”
And then Watson will just have to wait for his unavailable players to return.
He said: “I want to look at the squad of 16 on a Saturday and really struggle to leave anyone out. This season, we should have a strong bench that are able to come on and really change a game when we need them to.”