COMPETITION for places will be fierce for AFC Ludlow’s maiden season in the West Midlands League Division One, says manger Dave Cooper.

Ludlow will be opening their new campaign against relegated Bustleholme on the grass pitch at the Showtime Stadium on August 9.

Cooper’s men will also be at home in their second league fixture of the season when they host Wyrley on August 23.

“We have had a couple of friendlies and given a lot of people an opportunity – and no-one is going to be guaranteed a place in the side,” said Cooper.

“I want to stress there will be competition for places in the side and there will be difficult decision which will have to be made.

“We have got two home matches to start the new league season and you could not ask for anything more than that.”

Cooper confirmed he will be assisted by Tim Moriarty, Jamie Morris and Mike Seaborne this term.

Ludlow host Wellington Amateurs this Saturday (2pm start) in their latest warm-up match, which is in aid of the Hope House Children’s Hospices.

Cooper’s side suffered a 3-0 loss at AFC Bridgnorth last weekend which followed a 5-0 home win over Orleton Colts on Thursday night.

“Joel Leversedge plays a bit of cricket and rugby and he was superb against Bridgnorth. He’s a Ludlow lad who used to play for Presteigne.

“I am very positive- we could have been 5-0 up at half time against Bridgnorth and the scoreline flattered them. We battered them in the first half but refereeing decisions did not go our way.

“Luke Hicks played in the first half and put in a steady performance.

“It was a toss-up between Leversedge and Smith for the man of the match.”

Smith, Jake Pryce, Dale Hodge, Ryan Lewis and Martin Jusko netted in the win over Orleton.

After the match against Wyrley, AFC Ludlow travel to Penncroft on August 30, host Trysull on September 6; are away at Wyrley on September 13; and travel to Bromyard Town on September 20.