AFTER summer-long preparations, both Steeton and Silsden are ready for their season's big kick-off this weekend.

Steeton face a trip to the Vegas of the North to take on AFC Blackpool in Hallmark Security League Division One North, while Silsden travel to Penistone Church in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division, both on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

For Silsden it is a move into the Northern Counties structure as part of the Football Association's adjustments to the National League Structure for this season from the Hallmark Security League Premier Division.

After an indifferent pre-season, which included two 7-1 defeats, Cobbydalers manager Danny Forrest says the real action starts now.

He said: "I just can't wait.

"It's going to be tough, we are under no illusions. Teams in our division are strengthening, signing players of a high calibre.

"We finished ninth last year in the Hallmark League. To improve on that would be huge.

"We know quite a lot about this league as there are seven or eight local teams within a 20-30-mile radius of us. There is less travelling for us. We might see a few more through the gates. On paper, there are quite a few benefits to the league move.

"But there are also quite a lot of teams we don't know too much about like Penistone Church.

"I'm a big believer in you just have to look after yourself in a league."

Forrest added he is glad pre-season is over, after it concluded with a 3-1 home defeat to Charnock Richard on Saturday. He says recruitment has been tough too this summer. 

He said: "Every result is important.

"I read a lot into the friendly games. I read what habits we have got into and how fit we are.

"Hopefully we can change our fortunes when the season starts. Our performance on Saturday was a lot better. That felt more like us."

Meanwhile, Steeton boss Roy Mason says his side will enjoy anything but a nice trip to the seaside at Blackpool on Saturday and says stability is key for his side this season.

He said: "I'm really looking forward to it.

"The players have worked really hard during pre-season. Some of the results have not been good, we drew a couple of games, but the performances have been there, the ones against Barnoldswick Town and Thackley have been encouraging.

"We had two really good games against AFC Blackpool last season. We won 1-0 at home and drew 1-1 at their place. They are narrow games.

"We will need to be well organised, the players will need to stick o to our gameplan.

"We are not a team with a big budget. I will be happy as long as we improve on last year. We will do that.

"We have kept hold of players who now have a year's experience at this level. That's all we can look for. We need to be realistic this season.

"A lot of teams have spent money and often as soon as they do that, they come straight back down.

"We need to be self-sustainable.

"We have made a few new signings this summer. A few of them are young lads who have a point to prove. They work hard and want to be successful. They want to keep improving. It's a good opportunity for them as well."

Steeton's signings over the summer have included former Guiseley striker Kayle Price and ex-Barnoldswick Town frontman Bailey Coates.

Mason has also re-signed a number of players for the Chevrons. These include Alistair Morgan, Michael Armitage, George Tidswell, Aaron David, Tim Hird, Sam Rooke, Toby Rawcliffe, Jack Richmond and Tom Leach.

Steeton kick off their second successive season playing their home games at Cougar Park against Lower Breck on Tuesday, August 13.