Swaffham Town boss positive over Ridgeons League chances

Pedlars boss Paul Hunt admitted he was pleased with his side's opening Ridgeons League First Division fixtures for the 2011-12 season.

The new campaign's schedule has just been released, with Swaffham hosting Cornard United on the opening day – Saturday, August 13 – before local pride is at stake when Thetford Town visit three days later.

The long trip to Brightlingsea Regent completes Swaffham's start on Saturday, August 20.

Hunt said: 'For me, Cornard are an unknown quantity really. I know they had their problems last year and there was a lot of talk about who was going to take on the club; the team could well be different.

'But really it will be about preparing ourselves properly for the first games, and in a way who we play is irrelevant. I think it is quite nice to start at home though. It can put you in a good place.

'Then we've got Thetford next up and I think they are going to be one of the top teams in the league next season. We had some really good encounters with them last season and they were a good gauge of how far we'd come.

'I see us as being strong in the league next year and we are going into it very confident, and that game will be really good tester and a marker for us early on in the season.

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'We have really nice derbies going on next season, Thetford being one of them and we play in much the same manner as they do. We had some really competitive close games with them, so we'll look forward to that.

'Then just going on a geographical point, it's nice to go to Brightlingsea early in the season on a Saturday because that would be one of the ones you didn't want on a Tuesday night.

'I'm fairly happy – I probably would have been with whatever we got, although if we had been given three away games on the Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, that would've been a bit of a remote start.'

All in all Hunt has high hopes for a better Pedlars campaign – helped by a more stable pre-season.

'We're feeling really confident,' said Hunt. 'I'm not one to say we're signing everyone and their dog. I'm about what we have got already and the big thing for me was signing on predominantly the whole team I had last season. That's a major bonus because we put a year's worth of hard work in and came a long way.

'We only had three first teamers at the start of last season, so it was a job to get a squad together – this season we've got everyone back and some real cracking young lads to add to the whole mix.

'Some people are going to be taken by surprise a little bit given our finish to last season – we are a definite improvement on that, so I can't wait.'