VAUXHALL MOTORS face major selection problems as they prepare for today's Conference North opener against Leigh RMI at Rivacre Road.
Five players are sidelined, three of them suspended and two, goalkeeper Tim Ditmar and midfielder Mike Garrity, forced to miss the game through work commitments with Liverpool Football Club's coaching set-up.
"It is a big blow for the first game, but that is why we have built a big squad to allow for situations like this," said boss Carl Macauley.
"It gives other lads the chance to come into the side and stake a claim for a regular place."
The suspended players are Brian Moogan, Tom Field and summer signing Mark Williams.
The Motormen are looking for a positive start to their campaign as they bid to avoid a repeat of the side's disappointing opening last season, when they ended up in a desperate battle against relegation.
"We need to get a good start under our belts," said Macauley, who has been pleased with his side's pre-season build-up.
"We have looked sharp, we have scored goals and the lads are looking fit."
Local UniBond League clubs are still a week away from a return to competitive action and continue their preparations tomorrow with further pre-season action.
Burscough are at home to Chorley, while Prescot Cables visit Bamber Bridge and Marine travel to Anglesey outfit Glantraeth.
Skelmersdale United are at Rhyl.