THERE’S a buzz around the Essity Stadium as Flint Town United prepare to end their 22-year absence from the Welsh top-flight.

Not since relegation back in 1998 have the Silkmen competed against the best the country has to offer on a regular basis.

But that’s about to change at 2.30pm tomorrow as Newtown make their way to Flintshire.

“There’s a buzz and everyone is starting to feel it more and more as kick off approaches,” said Flint boss Niall McGuinness.

“It hasn’t been that long since I was in the Cymru Premier and I can feel the buzz, so it must be great for all of those people who have been at the club for 22 years.

“It’s going to be an exciting challenge.”

Those excitement levels are there, regardless of whether you’ve played 100 games in the Cymru Premier, or none at all.

“It’s a new challenge,” said McGuinness. “There are lads looking forward to playing in the league for the first time, but even those that are used to the division can’t wait.

“Nathan Craig, for example, he’s played a lot of games in the league with Caernarfon, but he’s got a smile on his face heading into the first game because it’s a new challenge for him.”

While Flint are delighted to be back in the Welsh top-flight, they know there is work to be done on the pitch to make sure their stay is not a brief one.

“It’s important to get off to the right start,” said McGuinness. “I am confident in the group we’ve got and we are really looking forward to kicking the season off.

“But we know that it’s important to sustain ourselves in the division. A number of clubs have yo-yoed and we don’t want to become one of those clubs.”

That’s not to say a 10th placed finish is the be-all and end-all for McGuinness, who added: “That’s not us settling. I always want more and more and more.

“We need to make sure we keep ourselves out of trouble and then we can see where that leaves us later in the season.”

McGuinness has added experienced midfielder Matty Russell to his squad ahead of tomorrow’s clash, joining the likes of Craig, Wes Baynes, Rob Hughes, Darren Thornton, Ben Nash and Conor Harwood in arriving at the Essity Stadium since promotion from the Cymru North.

Newtown have also been busy, adding former Airbus trio Jake Phillips, Jordan Evans and George Hughes, ex-Cefn Druids striker James Davies, and Jamie Breese, who has arrived from Caernarfon, to their squad.

“Chris Hughes has done wonders at Newtown,” said McGuinness.

“They’ve strengthened their squad very well and they will be as competitive as ever.

“Newtown don’t really change how they play, so we know we are going to be in for a tough opening match, but we will be ready.”