Puritans ready to embrace their tough start

Andy Whing insists Banbury United will embrace what looks like a tough a start to life in the Vanarama National League North.

The Banbury United players celebrate one of their goals in the 3-1 pre-season friendly win at Evesham United on Tuesday night. Picture by Julie Hawkins
The Banbury United players celebrate one of their goals in the 3-1 pre-season friendly win at Evesham United on Tuesday night. Picture by Julie Hawkins

The fixtures for the 2022/23 campaign came out last week with the newly-promoted Puritans handed a trip to Curzon Ashton on the opening day on Saturday, August 6.

That is then followed by successive home matches against AFC Fylde and Boston United - two teams who will be expected to be in the hunt for automatic promotion.

But boss Whing, who led the club to a stunning Southern League Premier Central title success last season, believes his players will be ready for the big challenge ahead of them.

“It’s a tough start but we are very excited about it,” the Banbury manager said.

“I’d rather play these big, big teams as early as possible.

“We will be ready for it. Hopefully they will come down and think it’s ‘little old Banbury’ and we will try to give them a bit of a surprise.

“We’re not deluded. It’s going to be very tough and they (Fylde and Boston) are two of many top teams in the league who have aspirations of playing higher up the pyramid.

“We are under no illusions of how tough it will be but we’re not here to make the numbers up.

“We will have a right good go. The players have massive belief and I have massive belief in them and we are just looking forward to the challenge.”

Banbury, meanwhile, have confirmed their scheduled friendly at Redditch United on Monday night will now not go ahead.

The Puritans host Coalville Town in their latest pre-season outing on Saturday.