ANDREW THOMAS wants Airbus to prove the doubters wrong as they return to the Cymru Premier.

The Wingmakers have boosted their Cymru North title winning squad with the likes of Andy Owens, Alex Darlington and Jake Phillips, while keeping hold of Steve Tomassen, Joe Palmer, pictured, and Curtis Strong.

But assistant boss Thomas insists that Airbus have a point to prove after ending their two-year top-flight exile.

“I think we are favourites to go down,” said Thomas. “So the first aim for us has to be to stay in the league.

“We’ve got to prove people wrong. It’s about building each week, it’s not about looking at the top-six.”

Airbus, managed by Steve O’Shaughnessy, will be able to gauge their progress tonight as big-spending Bala make their way to the Airfield.

Former Football League trio Lee Molyneux, Steve Leslie and Louis Robles, who scored a hat-trick against Gresford in last week’s League Cup success, are among six new arrivals at Maes Tegid.

“It’s a great start for us,” said Thomas. “It’s a good opportunity to see where we are at as we go up against a Bala team that have done it year in, year out at this level.

“They will be a tough team to play against this season looking at the quality they’ve added and I’m sure a return to European football is their target.”

Brady McGilloway and Owens return to the Airbus squad after missing last weekend’s League Cup victory over Llanfair United, while recent signing Walid Gharbaoui could be included if he receives international clearance.

Bala boss Colin Caton, meanwhile, knows Airbus will be a tough nut to crack as they look to hit the ground running after promotion.

“It’s going to be tough. Airbus have come up, so their confidence is high and there will be a buzz about the place,” said Caton.

“It’s a newly-promoted team’s first game at home, so it’s going to be a tough task.

“Steve O’Shaughnessy has worked with us before, and he will have them well-drilled and organised, but we’ve got to look at our strengths, and although we can be tactically aware of the opposition, it’s about us and the squad of players we have.”