LUDLOW Town Colts’ new management team are confident their side will make a real impact in the Herefordshire Premier this season.

Colts went unbeaten in the league last term as they stormed to the Division One title and their top-flight place was rubber-stamped by the league’s divisional allocations this week.

George Sankey and Mark Tonkinson have taken over as joint managers from double-winning boss Scott Mackenzie.

The pair enjoyed victory in their first game in charge, Saturday’s 5-2 friendly win over Hopesgate United, and Sankey says Colts are relishing the challenges that lie in wait.

He said: “It seems to be a really strong league this season so it’s going to be a very hard year but we are looking forward to it.

“We don’t want to just go in there and stagnate, look for a mid-table finish, we want to go and compete with the top teams and be in it to win it.

“We are having a lot of lads turn up to training, we’ve got a pre-season games under our belts, and we’ve got a few new faces that have come in and looked good.”

While Colts are not straying far from the squad that earned promotion, they have made a handful of signings, including Kieron Hollis, who netted four in the victory over Hopesgate.

Colts are hoping the former Orleton man will be a ready-made replacement for last season’s top scorer Dan Griffiths, who will play for Ludlow’s first team in the West Midlands League this term.

Joint boss Mark Tonkinson said: “Kieron looked very sharp on Saturday and took his chances really well. It’s a blow to lose Dan but Kieron is more than capable of filling his boots.”

Hollis scored twice inside the opening quarter-hour as Colts – who visit Ledbury Town in another friendly this Saturday – twice came from behind in a frantic beginning to the game.

Jabez Smith rounded the United keeper to put Colts in front and they never looked back as Hollis scored twice more to seal an excellent start to pre-season.

“We were worried the fitness levels wouldn’t quite be up there but the lads looked quite fit and we just wore the other team down,” said Sankey.

Tonkinson added: “I couldn’t fault the lads. It was a good performance. We can’t wait for the season to start now.”