Wakehurst boss Paul Muir is counting down the days until the new season begins after the announcement of last week’s fixtures.
The Ballymena men will travel to Portstewart in their opening Belfast Telegraph Championship Two game on August 8.
“I guess fixtures coming out make things very real and I find myself visualising the first game - something I did when I was playing too,” said Muir.
“But myself and the managment team will very much be taking one game at a time and our next one is our first pre-season friendly against Knockbreda on Saturday week at Mill Meadow.
“People keep saying it ll be a tough season and no doubt it will but it is the same for every team with four teams going down but in this division, every team are capable of beating each other on their day.
“We kicked off pre season at the weekend and had great turn out with 30 players. Neil Candlish, Stephen McKelvey and Jason Connolly put them through their paces and I couldn’t fault the lads for the effort put in over two hours.
“Last week myself and Jason Connolly sat down with Northend United Youth management as we endeavour to strengthen links and propose the way forward.
“Northend acting as a feeder club to Wakehurst is something I am very excited about, having come through Cullybackey Blues/Ballymena United set up I see the benefits of such an arrangement plus I felt extremely proud becoming a first team player for my home town club,” added Paul.