Buckley Town have 'nothing to lose' in their league opener at Bangor City this weekend, according to manager Dan Moore.

After promotion from the Welsh National League last term, Town have been handed the toughest of fixtures to kick-off the new Cymru Alliance campaign.

Bangor were acrimoniously demoted to the Welsh second tier in April after failing to obtain a domestic licence from the FAW.

But with former Hartlepool and The New Saints manager Craig Harrison at the helm, the club have assembled a heavyweight squad as they look to make an instant return to the top flight.

Moore said: "In some ways this a great way for us to start the new season. Nobody's really expecting us to go there and take anything from the game, so we can go there without any pressure.

"There's nothing to lose from our perspective. We're going up against the favourites for the title, who've got a great manager in charge and an experienced squad with a lot of quality.

"We're not naive enough to think we're going to roll up there and just get a result.

"This is an early chance for us to gauge the standard of the teams in the division this season and see where we're at ourselves.

"It's a game we're all massively looking forward to and if we can pick up a positive result then great, but if not then we'll regroup and move on.

"We'd much rather be going to Bangor on the opening weekend than with a couple of games left to go and us needing to pick up points."

City have made a number of key acquisitions with the likes of Marc Williams, Phil Baker and returning hero Les Davies signing up over the summer.

And manager Harrison feels he has the right blend of age and experience to ensure their goals are met at the end of the season.

He said: “Last season’s squad were all good players and they achieved a lot, but playing in the Alliance was not what they signed up for but I have players here now who know what is expected of them so it is all about getting the mental side of their game right.

“Buckley are going to come here with a winning mentality having got themselves into the division, and the pressure will be all on us to get off to a good start.”

Moore has no first-team injury concerns ahead of Saturday's game at Nantporth.

Gresford manager Steve Halliwell admits that preparations for the new season have 'not been ideal', but is optimistic about the 2018/19 campaign.

The loss of key players Max Peate, Dave McIntyre and Mikey Latham earlier in the summer preceded the departure of assistant manager and coach Richard Capper.

But after a solid pre-season campaign, Halliwell has urged his side to start the season positively ahead of tonight's opener at Denbigh Town.

He said: "We're in pretty good shape overall. I was concerned about our defensive options initially, but bringing in Joe Davies at centre half from Airbus has definitely strengthened us.

"Pre-season has been pretty good in general. We look to be full of goals and we're all looking forward to getting started.

"We know the league is going to be tougher than ever this season and I think it will be about consolidation for a lot of the teams involved.We finished eighth last season and I think that if we were to surpass that, we'll have done well."

Halliwell will be without Jack Challinor, Owen Roberts, Dean Bryan and Simon Smith for Friday night's match.

Andy Thomas believes that Airbus' new-look squad will prove to be a 'real handful' for their title rivals this season.

An impressive summer of recruitment has seen the Wingmakers strengthen in attack, with prolific striker Asa Hamilton and pacy Brady McGilloway joining from Guilsfield and Holywell respectively.

Midfielders Joe Palmer and Matty McGinn have also impressed in pre-season, and assistant manager Thomas is in confident mood ahead of Saturday's game at relegated Prestatyn.

"All the new lads have gelled really well since coming in and look like they're going to be a real handful for the teams we play against.

"We've played some very good teams in pre-season to test ourselves and some of the results maybe haven't been a true reflection of how well we've played.

"Prestatyn's going to be a tough opening fixture for us and they'll have benefited from playing in the Welsh Premier last season.

"But it's all about us on Saturday and how we go about our business. We're looking to start strongly and get some early momentum and we're confident we can do that."

Niall McGuinness says that the heightened expectation surrounding his Flint Town United side is 'natural' after their successful end to the last campaign.

The Silkmen finished strongly by lifting the league cup and going eight games unbeaten in all competitions.

With some of their rivals tipping Flint for a title challenge this term, McGuinness believes his squad now has the balance of youth and quality necessary to compete.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's home game with Holyhead, he said: "As a club we are aiming to compete at the highest level within the league. No game is a given this season, so we will have to be at our very best week in week out and find the consistency we lacked for a lot of last season.

"I can see why some other managers might talk our chances up, I think that's natural with what happened last season and some of the players we've brought in since then.

"We're not getting carried away with that side of things and we won't look too far ahead. We''re at home to Holyhead in our first game, which is a positive. We're only focused on winning that game and we'll take it from there after that."

Flint will be without club captain Richie Foulkes and striker Alieu Sheriff, with the pair both serving suspensions.

GARETH SUDLOW says that making the transition from player to manager has been an ‘eye-opener’ this summer.

The Holywell Town boss took charge following the departure of John Haseldin at the end of last season and has enjoyed his first pre-season in charge at Halkyn Road.

He said: “The summer has been a bit of an eye-opener to be honest, particularly early on when other sides are after your best players and you’re doing your best to keep hold of them.

“But things settled down and we’ve brought in a few players like Damian Ketley up front who we feel will really improve us. We’re more than happy with how things have gone and we’re looking forward to getting started now.”

A strong 2017/18 campaign under Haseldin saw Holywell emerge as serious title contenders until a slump in form in the final quarter of the season saw them lose ground and finish fifth for a third successive season.

In a repeat of last season’s final fixture, Holywell head to Ruthin Town on Friday with Sudlow relishing a ‘tough’ opening test for his side.

He said:”I watched them last week and they’re a hard-working side who still have a lot of quality there.

“To get anything there we know we’re going to have to match their workrate first of all and apply the good work we’ve been doing over the summer on the pitch.

“As a club we want to keep improving this season. Obviously we are competing against sides with much bigger budgets than ourselves, but we certainly want to be challenging among that top six again.”

Sudlow is without midfield pair Danny Desormeaux and Matthew Hurdman for Friday’s opener, with the Wellmen otherwise at full strength.

Welsh Alliance champions Conwy Borough host Guilsfield, Rhyl visit mid-Wales side Llanrhaeadr and Penrhyncoch are at home to Porthmadog.