FC Hartlepool boss isn't daunted by testing Wearside League opener
FC Hartlepool manager Terry Hill insisted his side won’t be daunted by their Wearside League season opener at Horden CW.
The Grayfields outfit will get their campaign underway on Wednesday 2nd September with a tough-looking trip to face a side that looked odds-on to secure last season’s league title.
Horden were sat six points clear at the top of the Division One table when the coronavirus epidemic curtailed the season in February.
They will be seen as one of the favourites to top the table once again this season and pre-season wins over Northern League Division One clubs Northallerton Town, Billingham Town and, most impressively, Stockton Town, have only enhance that opinion.
However, Hill believes that his players will “thrive” on the pressure of facing a trip to Welfare Park on the opening day.
He told The Mail: “It’s great to get competitive football up and running again and there is no better way than a derby game against Horden.
“They had a great season last year and were only denied the title by lockdown, in my opinion.
“As always, we fancy ourselves to go up the road and get the three points, but we know they have made some good signings and have had a good pre-season.
“I think the league will be very competitive this year and it’s there for anyone who can get a head of steam like Horden did last year.
“If I had to pick a first game, I would have picked this one.
“Our lads thrive against good sides and what better way to test yourself than playing against last year’s leaders.”
Hartlepool open up their home fixtures for the season on Saturday 5th September when they entertain league new-boys Washington United at Grayfields and then face a trip to another new side four days later when they visit Chester-le-Street United.