STRENGTHENED straight along the spine, Tadcaster Albion are keen to show they have the backbone to again post a title challenge.

The Albion ranks were among the front-runners all last season in the quest for the Northern Counties East League premier division crown and the aim is to be "there and thereabouts" once more.

So declared assistant manager Mike Morton as he surveyed the season's opener at home to promoted outfit Shaw Lane Aquaforce tomorrow.

"It is a cliché bit it is about taking one game at a time and that's what we'll do tomorrow," he said.

"Shaw Lane not only won promotion last season they have since had a fair bit of money pumped into the club. They've got a new manager from a higher league and have signed players with a lot of experience, so it will be a big test for us for the opening game.

"But by not getting too far ahead of ourselves last season and remembering to stay level-headed, we went on a 23-game unbeaten run.

"Without putting any pressure on the players we would be quite confident of being able to do something like that again."

Albion have made three canny acquisitions through the summer, reinforcing each of the central areas of the squad.

Up front they have added the striking potential of Josh Greening, who has arrived at Ings Lane from fellow premier division outfit Pickering Town, while in midfield Liam Ormsby - son of former Leeds United and Aston Villa lynchpin Brendan Ormsby - has arrived to dictate play.

The recruitment was completed by signing centre-back Andy Milne, a mainstay of last season's Evo-Stik campaign of Scarborough Athletic.

"They are all going to be key players and we're all just keen to go again."

In the NCEL first division, Knaresborough Town host Hallam, while Harrogate Town, who now number former York City kingpin David McGurk in their squad, open their Conference North campaign at home to Tamworth tomorrow.