BOSS Brendan Kelly stated Bromsgrove Sporting’s trip to AFC Dunstable this weekend is a ‘baptism of fire’ for life at Step Four of the non-League pyramid.
The Rouslers have taken little under a decade to reach the level where the now defunct Bromsgrove Rovers were at before they folded and there is plenty of excitement within the club’s ranks.
However, despite the excitement, the Sporting boss believes the Southern League Division One Central campaign opener could not get any tougher than tomorrow’s (Saturday) trip to Bedfordshire.
AFC Dunstable reached the play-offs last term and Kelly told the Standard they will be one of the favourites for the league crown this time around.
“We are excited to be playing at the level where Bromsgrove Rovers were and in terms of our progression schedule, we have got here a year earlier than expected,” he said.
“We did not expect to win the league last year but we have prepared as best as we can for the new season.
“It’s certainly a huge baptism of fire by travelling to a team which got to the play-offs last year on the opening day.
“It’s going to be a major test for us but I am confident the squad has the ability to come away with the three points.”
Kelly, a former Step Four title winner with Halesowen Town, added he wanted to see a strong squad mentality throughout the season.
“There’s no disputing the talent we have got in the squad but if we want to be successful the mentality levels have to be right up there,” he added.
With the visit of Kidlington to the Victoria Ground on Tuesday night, Kelly hopes the fans will flock in their numbers to witness Sporting’s very first home game at this level.
“Kidlington are a dangerous team which beat many top sides last season and in my mind their mid-table position was false,” he said.
“It’s going to be an historic night so it would be great to see a huge turn out.”
Sporting rounded off their pre-season schedule last Saturday with a 3-2 victory over county rivals Evesham United, thanks to goals from Will Shorrock, Nathan Hayward and Charlie Dowd.