NEW boss Dane Pearce believes his Woofferton side have the talent in their ranks to make a swift return to their rightful position in the Herefordshire League Division One.

Woofferton will restart life in the league in Division Two, returning after a year out, having been forced to withdraw last season due to a lack of players.

Prior to that, they had spent the previous decade in Division One – and they are basing their pre-season programme around games against several teams from that level.

They drew 1-1 with Ludlow Town Colts Reserves on Saturday, two days after a narrow 4-3 defeat to Tenbury United, with a game against Tenbury Town to come later in August.

Pearce, Woofferton’s co-manager alongside Alan Hoppcutt, said: “I didn’t think either of the teams we played were any better than we were.

“We haven’t wanted to play anyone in our own league – we’ve wanted to play better opposition to push ourselves in pre-season, so when the real thing starts, we will be ready.

“I’m optimistic. I think we should be up there, from what I have seen,” added Pearce, who managed in Division Two last year with the now-disbanded Orleton Reserves, also alongside Hoppcutt.

“There are a couple of new teams in the division and a couple that have dropped down from Division One, so you can never be totally sure about [the calibre of] who is going to be in the league.

“But 75 per cent of the teams will be the same as last season so we have some idea of what we will be up against.”

Pearce felt his side were unlucky not to have won both of their friendlies so far, adding: “We were 3-1 up after 70 minutes against Tenbury and lost 4-3, so maybe a lack of match fitness showed.

“I was disappointed the way that one finished but we were the better team in the second half against Ludlow and were unlucky to have a goal disallowed, so I’m quite happy overall.

“We did take a few lads off after 70 minutes against Tenbury – lads who would usually play the full 90 minutes – so we could have a look at some other players, so that might have played a part too.”

Pearce estimates around 75 per cent of his squad have followed him over from Orleton but is still seeking reinforcements, adding: “We have some new players coming in who will improve us.”