|Glasshoughton Welfare chairman Phil Riding|
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)Chairman Phil Riding says Glasshoughton Welfare will use their blank opening day of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division campaign to their benefit.
Due to Hucknall Town’s decision to resign from the NCEL, the Premier Division now has 23 teams which means that one club will down tools each Saturday afternoon.
Riding admits the free weekend is a knock to manager Rob Hunter’s preparations, but says the club will stay focussed and be ready to start at Staveley Miners Welfare on Wednesday 14th August.“It is a hard start and we’re obviously disappointed not to have a game on the first day,” he said.
“I understand why it has happened and someone had to have the short straw.“It is a shame when we were all geared up to start on August 10th and it is has been put back four days.
“It is a let-down as we were so focussed on August 10th.
"We are looking to put another friendly in, but it is a bit difficult as other teams are also starting their seasons.“But knowing (manager) Rob (Hunter) and Smudge (assistant) Mark Smitheringale, they’ll have them in training if we can’t get a game.
“It is a little window of opportunity for us as after training we may go and watch a game somewhere.“We may go and watch Staveley and get a little sneak preview which is something you can’t normally do.
“We have to use it (the blank Saturday) to our advantage and we will do.”
|Glasshoughton Welfare boss Rob Hunter|
Glasshoughton are aiming for a top half finish under former Tadcaster Albion assistant boss Hunter who steered the club away from the relegation zone last season.Welfare began their pre-season friendlies schedule at Silsden in a 2-1 defeat and Riding has been very impressed with Hunter’s management during the summer.
“Rob is very meticulous and from the last game of the season, he went straight into pre-season mode,” he said.“We were one of the first teams to get their pre-season friendlies booked.
“He’s never off the phone to players. He’s like a pest which is actually a nice thing to say.“The pre-season schedule which he has organised has been first class.
“The players have worked hard and put shifts in and we’re looking forward to the season.”Riding has also confirmed that Glasshoughton will be running a new under 19s side in the Northern U19 Alliance Football League North Division for the 2013-14 season.