MILLOM start their campaign in Division Three of the National Conference with a home fixture with Oldham St Annes who were victorious at Askam on day one of the season, writes Paddy McAteer.

The Woolybacks had a setback recently when, as holders, they went out of the Barton Townley Cup with a surprise defeat at Dalton.

However, with that behind them and having lost key players to the professional ranks, they once again rebuild and coach Tom Sibley, who will only play in a crisis, will take a longer look at his players from the sidelines.

He said: “Oldham should be a good test for us but we are well prepared and hopefully the Millom faithful supporters will get down to Devonshire Road to get behind the lads.”

Millom will look to the Kelly boys, Adam and Dane, to lead from the front along with influential half-back Johnathan Hodgson in what will be a relatively young side.

Askam, after two successive home defeats, are on the road to Heworth but travel minus Jamie Butler, Sam Broadley, Dale Lampton and the Atkinson brothers, Ben and Josh. Coming in are Chris Broadley and Ethan Guy plus one or two others .

Coach Gary Bolton said: “I don’t think we are too far away. The lads are working their socks off. In this league there is always a fine margin between a win or a loss but one thing we have to take care of is our discipline. We had a good chat at training about this and other matters but indiscipline costs you games."

Barrow Island go to Dewsbury Celtic without Adam Jackson while Joe Mallinson is rated 50-50. Also out until April are Dan White, Peter Rimmer, Ben Garner and Noah Robinson

Coach Joe Elliott said: “We have several injuries but we do have a big squad this year with several youngster pushing for places. When players are out it gives fringe players the opportunity to stake their claim.

“Dewsbury do have a good playing area. It is very flat but could hold water so fingers crossed.”