BANGOR City are sweating on the fitness of four key players ahead of today’s curtain-raiser against champions Llanelli.
The Farrar Road showdown is a repeat of last season’s Welsh Cup final, which City won 4-2 after extra time back in May.
And Bangor manager Neville Powell is targeting a repeat victory for his side, saying: “It should be a cracker and our lads will not need motivating, which is what can be said of Llanelli as well.
“We showed in the cup final just what we are capable of and our hope is for a repeat performance in front of our home fans and a repeat result.
“Llanelli are full-timers, of course, but we will have a go at them, while knowing they will feel that they have a score to settle with us.”
Three players from that clash must sit out today’s game following dismissals in the final. City’s Peter Hoy is banned for four games, while Llanelli are missing Rhys Griffiths and Wyn Thomas.
Powell hopes to be able to call on latest signing, Robbie Talbot, from Droylsden, even though the 6ft 3in striker detected a slight hamstring problem during Monday’s friendly against a Tranmere Rovers XI.
Talbot showed no after-effects in Thursday’s club training session, along with centre-back Michael Johnston, after an ankle knock, and his defence partner Jamie Brewerton, after a groin injury.
Midfield playmaker Chris Seargeant, who missed the Tranmere game because of tonsillitis, has reported fit and new signing Chris Sharp from Rhyl, will also be involved.
Bangor are anticipating this as their last season at historic Farrar Road as they hope to switch to the new ground at Nantporth next year.
Powell said: “The aim is to continue the improvements which we made last time and we believe the squad is that much stronger.
“To say we want to win the league is stating the obvious, but to say we can win the league would be unrealistic with the likes of Llanelli and TNS around, and we must aim to move closer to them.”