SILSDEN had a great start to the new Northern Counties East League Premier Division season on Saturday, but new joint-manager Matt Cavanagh was not there to see it.

The Cobbydalers won 1-0 at Bottesford Town and will now head into this weekend’s home game against Burscough in the FA Cup extra preliminary round full of confidence.

Cavanagh will be back on the touchline for that one, whereas he was over a thousand miles away in Croatia on Saturday.

He said: “I already had the holiday booked in before I was appointed as joint-manager.

“It wasn’t ideal to miss Saturday, but it was a good result for us.

“Bottesford is a long way to go, and it’s not an easy place to go and win.

“We didn’t know exactly what we’d be up against, in terms of their team, so to go there and win and keep a clean sheet was tremendous for us.”

Silsden signed Alex Laird, Sam Bradley and Talent Ndlovu over the summer from Eccleshill United, with all three playing a big part in the Bradford side only missing out on promotion last season due to a play-off final defeat on penalties.

Cavanagh said: “We’re looking to attract the best players possible, and those three showed how good they were last season.

“Eccleshill came second in this league for a reason.

“But while they’re here, like all our new signings, they need to fit our profile and buy into what we’re doing.

“I’m happy with who we’ve brought in, and we’ll work to win as many games as possible.”

That might be tricky if Bradley and Laird are out for any length of time, with both of the centre-halves picking up injuries at Bottesford.

Cavanagh said: “It was pretty bad luck to lose both of our centre-halves to injury on the opening day.

“It’s certainly looking like they’ll miss this weekend, but hopefully that will be it.

“They look to be a very strong partnership, but that’s why we have a squad, so there are lads ready to come in and take their place if needed.”

Asked how pre-season had gone, Cavanagh said: “Myself and Luke Lavery came in as joint-managers during a big transition period.

“But we still wanted to focus on keeping a core of key players and working on what (former boss) Danny Forrest had built.

“We got some good bodies in, worked on new ideas and got minutes in the legs, which brought the team together.

“We want this to be an environment where the lads enjoy themselves.

“The results were up and down, but we played some good sides, so hopefully it all stands us in good stead.”

As for the game against Burscough, Cavanagh said: “I played against them a few times, and they’re in a strong league, in the North West Counties.

“They did well last year, but they’ve had a few changes since then, so I don’t know loads about them.

“They’re at the same level as us, and if we prepare and play well, we can go through.

“It’s the FA Cup, so hopefully there’ll be a decent crowd and the fans get behind us.

“If we could go on an FA Cup run, that would benefit the club in every way.”