Boston United will face two 'big hitters' in their opening National League North fixtures. However, the Pilgrims boss sees contests against Spennymoor Town at home and away to AFC Fylde as chances for his squad to put down a marker. Here he shares his thoughts on United's 2021-22 schedule...
Elliott on the opening two fixtures:
You always look at it and think what's an easy start or a hard start. Notoriously in the first month every game's difficult as you never know who will struggle or be favourites. But looking at it, on paper, Spenymoor and Fylde will be two of the strongest teams in this league. It's a tough start but an exciting one. Whatever way pre-season goes, you're not 100 per cent how you are as a team until you start playing the real stuff. For us to be playing two of the big hitters straight away gives us a good indication of where we'll be. You look at it both ways and you like to think they're looking at it the same as, seeing it as a tough start. The key will be to get off to a good start. There are no excuses, we should be ready. We want a nice positive start.
Elliott on the first league match at the Jakemans Community Stadium in front of fans:
That's all I wanted to be honest, to get that first home game for the opening game of the season. You can't beat that, it's exciting for fans and everybody and it adds more excitement being in a new stadium. We've had a good feel for it but we all know that when fans get in it will start to feel like home and you understand what the atmosphere's like.
Elliott on the first away game at Fylde:
It was a good game (last season) and it probably worked against us playing a full time side after a period of isolation. But they're a full time team that notoriously are always challenging at the top end. I can't see that being any different this year so straight away it's a big game.
FIXTURES: Boston United's 2021-22 fixtures - read more
Elliott on the fact United currently have just three midweek matches scheduled, the first being in December:
I'm happy that it gives us the chance to prepare properly (in the opening month) but I do think they should put in as many games as they can in the first five or six weeks of the season when pitches are good. It surprises me they don't do that as a league as you know for certain there'll be stage where you're playing catch up in the season.
Elliott on the fixtures he always looks for first:
I like York City away as I like a night out York. I was slightly gutted it was a Tuesday night and I think, also this year, as they've got a brand new stadium, I was looking forward to going there. I'm a bit of a statto like that, I like going to new places and seeing what they're about.
Elliott on the festive schedule:
They're not your classic derbies for us against Alfreton, but we always take a good following to Alfreton and it's a good place to play. it'll be a good festive period for us with Brackley squeezed in between as well.
On the final run-in:
I look at pitches at that time of year and Farsley is sometimes a difficult pitch. It may not be the best at that time of year, but you have no idea where teams are going to be at that time of year. It's a long way to go before we worry about that stage.
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