Lowestoft Town must be ready for tough opener, says Ady Gallagher
Lowestoft Town joint boss Ady Gallagher believes new-boys Whitehawk will be delighted to open their Ryman Premier Division account against his side.
The Trawlerboys will travel to last season's Division One South champions on Saturday, August 18 as they begin another tilt at earning promotion to Step Two of the non-league ladder.
After the heartbreak of losing two Premier Division play-offs on the bounce, Gallagher admits his side are likely to be viewed as one of the league's big-boys – especially by Whitehawk.
He said: 'They (Whitehawk) will be chuffed to bits. To be at home to a play-off finalist will set their season off well.
'They'll want to stake a claim right from the start of the season and playing us gives them a great opportunity to do that. So it's a tough start, in what will be a tough league next season.
'We are seen as, for some unknown reason, the Man City of the league. Maybe some teams are jealous of the profile of our club. We've got good supporters, great gates and have been relatively successful in our first couple of seasons in the league.
'But Canvey Island have appointed Steve Tilson as their boss and they'll be looking to achieve some big things. And then you've got Hampton & Richmond Borough, Thurrock, Lewes, Kingstonian, Bury Town and Leiston. There's so many good sides in this league.
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'I'm happy with the business we've done in the summer, we've added some real quality. However, we're just looking at keeping our head down and working hard so we can challenge again.'
The Suffolk outfit's first home game is against Concord Rangers on Tuesday August 21, just four days before they welcome Metropolitan Police to Crown Meadow.
A fiery Boxing Day derby at Bury Town is most likely to set pulses racing after both clubs clashed in the press over Lee Smith's decision to join Lowestoft.
The midfielder joins Jack Defty, Danny Cunningham and Dan Gleeson in arriving at Lowestoft this summer and Gallagher admits he can't wait for the football to finally get started.
The Lowestoft supremo – whose side begin their pre-season campaign at home to Romford today – said: 'We wanted to make four or five changes to our squad and hopefully we can add a couple more before the season starts.
'I'm just looking forward to being pitchside again. It seems football never goes away, especially the higher the level you play at, during the summer. We're involved in football because we enjoy pitting our wits against others on a match day. I can't wait to get back to doing that.'