ADRIAN Mander has admitted that Bromsgrove Sporting will have to cope with the weight of expectation.
The Rouslers head into the 2014-15 campaign as one of the favourites for the title in the Midlands Football League Divisione One alongside Highgate United and Hinckley.
Sporting’s fans certainly have high hopes after a strong end to last season secured second place last year.
But they face a tough start to the season on Saturday with a home game against hotly-tipped Highgate, who had secured a top four finish in the Midland Alliance last season but were relegated because of their ground.
He said: “I feel pre-season has gone well, the team is coming together nicely and we go into the new season confident.
“There is a lot of expectation at this club, the supporters want the club to do well and the management are also ambitious.
“It’s all on us, we have to go out there and play well.”
Sporting have lost the services of last season’s 43 goal top scorer Mark Bellingham.
The former Stourbridge goal-getter played in a pre-season win over Stratford last Thursday after informing Mander that he wished to move on, before opting to sign for Hinckley instead.
Sporting have secured the services of Josh McKenzie, who returns after a three year ban, and also have the likes of Chris Russell, Chris Conway and Danny Campbell.
Mander commented: “Mark had been telling me all summer that he would be signing for us just before the season starts.
“But he came to me last week and said he was worried about getting a regular starting spot and needing a new challenge.
“Mark’s a brilliant player and he would definitely have got into the team. I am sorry to see him go.
“But I am happy with our options up front. I am pleased to have got Josh McKenzie on board and with his power and pace I think he will score a lot of goals.”
Mander is still looking to add a left-back and centre back with Halesowen’s Brendan Kelly set to sign last night.