Forfar West End boss Daryl McKenzie can’t wait for the season to get under way with the visit of Montrose Roselea this evening (Wednesday).
The West End boys host their local rivals at Strathmore Park at 7 p.m as they begin their East Region Premier Division campaign.
And Daryl says he has seen more than enough from his players over pre-season to believe they will be able to do well in the league this year.
He told the Dispatch: “We had our last game on Saturday against Lochee United. We lost 3-2 but we actually played very well. We lost three poor goals but that’s not been like us, they were the first goals we’ve conceded in pre-season. They were individual mistakes and we can live with that. Lochee United are the best side in Tayside, they’re the biggest club and the best team at the minute so there was no disgrace to losing to them. We got great feedback from them afterwards. We’re probably not going to come up against that level of teams this season in the league. On the whole we played well, we created a lot of chances and on another day we could have scored four or five so we’re very happy.
“Pre-season has gone really well and we’re itching to get started on Wednesday against Montrose. It’s been great, we haven’t picked up any injuries and the boys have all gelled well. You never know the situation until you begin playing competitive football and it only matters when the real games start.
“The boys are definitely ready – fitness levels are really good and they’re looking really sharp. We’re delighted with the way the boys have played in terms of our performances, our new partnerships and we’ve tried out a few new formations.
“I’ve definitely seen enough to believe the boys are capable of making the step up. We’ve seen enough to make us sure we’ve made the right decision to stick with the young players as well as with the players we’ve brought in.
“Montrose are one of our nearest rivals. I know Ralph Brand, I played with Ralph at Forfar West End as he was coming to the end of his career. He’s very well organised, he knows his football. They’re always very fit, very organised and very hard to break down. For them to stay in the league last year was great and they’ll be looking to push on and finish higher up the table.
“It’s the first game of the season and it’s a local derby, it’s always going to be a bit fiery. We are hopeful with us being at home to have enough about us to get the three points. Then we’ve got Dundee North End on Saturday, it’s two teams we know extremely well and our two biggest rivals over the last few years. We’re seeing it as a positive start.”