CHARD Town begin life in the Somerset County League’s Premier Division tomorrow, with a trip to North Somerset side Worle (ko 3pm).

Robins manager Mark Parris said: “We approach the new season not knowing anything about the opposition and standard of any opponents following 43 seasons in the Western League.

“Nine of last season’s squad have moved on to pastures new, leaving us to rebuild a squad based around a foundation of those who have been loyal to our club – Steve Friend, Andy Holmes, Ryan Parris, Liam Cleal, James Boyland and Tom Salter – and introducing new local men, and bringing through players from the Reserves and Under-18 team.”

Ryan Mason, Harry Boddington and Dan Collins have all featured in pre-season friendlies, as have Owen Searle, Josh Lukins, Marky Jones and Alex Harper.

Luke Jackson has returned from Sherborne and George Chlopecki is attempting to make a comeback from a long-term knee injury.

New signings Conor Richardson and Dan O’Connor have both signed from local football and have impressed, being capable of making the step up in standard.

Tom Stephens-Fouracre has also joined the club, but has played little football during the past two seasons because of university studies.

Chard will be without strikers Friend, Boyland and Jones for the Worle fixture.

During the past week, the new-look Chard side have drawn 2-2 at home to Western League Premier Division side Wellington, with goals from a Collins penalty and a cracking shot from Boyland, before the visitors equalised with the last kick of the match.

Last Saturday, Chard won 1-0 at Bridgwater Reserves, with a well-executed early free kick from skipper Parris.

*** FELLOW County League sides Ilminster Town and Combe St Nicholas also get started tomorrow.

Like Chard, Ilminster are competing in the Premier Division this season, and are looking to build on a promising eighth-placed finish in 2018/19.

The Blues begin away to Clevedon United (ko 3pm), and on Wednesday they travel to Middlezoy Rovers (6.30pm).

Combe St Nicholas are in Division 3 again this year, having come 11th last time out, and they go to Banwell tomorrow.

*** THIS week also sees the Perry Street & District League get under way for the 2019/20 season.

Monday and Tuesday (August 12-13) bring the first round of the Chard Hospital Cup; the following Wednesday and Thursday (August 14-15) will witness the Reg Eglon Cup first round.