MANAGER Aaron Morris wants his Tenbury United players to hit the ground running in their opening pre-season match at Clee Hill United next Tuesday.

And Morris says his players cannot wait to launch their maiden campaign next month in the Herefordshire League Premier Division.

United won the Division One title at their first attempt last term and are expecting a much stiffer test in the top tier of Herefordshire League football.

“We have worked the players very hard in pre-season training, although some of the lads have not been able to come along due to other commitments,” said Morris.

“All the players seem very keen. We have told them that, if they work hard now, they will not need to do as much running later on.”

United’s joint-boss Dale Withers has not been able to make training so far because he is moving house, and skipper Mike Foster has been away, having just got married.

He added: “We have a couple of new lads coming in to play for us this season, which is a positive step.

“A 16-year-old lad has been playing football for Evesham and has moved to the area.

“He has played for Evesham’s under-18 team in the floodlit league, I believe.

“There is also another lad who has moved to the area and has played football at a very good level in the Birmingham area.”

Morris is eagerly awaiting next week’s friendly match at Wayne Whitbread’s Clee Hill United.

“We have got just one friendly match at the moment – we have been trying to get matches but it seems like a lot of clubs have already booked up their games,” said Morris.

“We don’t really want to be having friendlies against teams in the same division as us.

“Our league season is starting on August 16 – so that’s not long at all.”