Write us off at your peril! Dennis Greene has a message for Boston United’s National League North rivals

Dennis Greene with Lamin Colley.
Dennis Greene with Lamin Colley.

Dennis Greene believes that his ‘surprise package’ have everything that it takes to challeneg for promotion in the National League North.

With 15 departures and 14 new signings - with that total set to rise - this summer, Boston United will begin the campaign with virtually a brand-new squad this season.

Building a new team to compare to the one which reached the play-off semi-finals in the past two campaigns and recorded three consecutive top-six finishes is no easy task.

But despite Greene assembling a new side, he believes there is plenty of potential on show.

“I really am excited, we’ve gradually progressed through pre-season,” he said.

“Hopefully, we’re going to be a surprise package because we’re a whole new team.

“Just because we’re a new team doesn’t mean we’re not going to catch a few out and do well.”

Last season Boston had one of the strongest starting XIs in the division, but injuries to star players such as Zak Mills, Dayle Southwell, Jay Rollins and Kaine Felix, plus suspensions picked up by Carl Piergianni, exposed a lack of cover and squad depth in some positions.

Although this year’s team is yet to prove it can reach the heady heights of the past three campaigns, Greene is confident he now has a stronger all-round squad, better equiped for any unavailabilities.

“Write us off at your peril,” he added.

“I go through the squad, player for player compared to last year, and there’s no reason why we can’t achieve something.

“Yes, we’ll miss Pidge (Piergianni) and Dayle, but everywhere else we’re stronger.

“I’m reasonably optimistic.”

Boston United begin their league campaign as they finisheds their last one, by facing Stalybridge Celtic.

The Pilgrims thrashed their hosts 5-0 to guarantee a play-off place, but Greene isn’t expecting a similar scoreline.

“It would be nice, but we lost 3-0 at home to them last year,” he added.

“We just want to get off to a good start.

“The first 10 games are vital. If you can be in the top five with 10 games gone you can generally stay amongst it.

“If you’re in the bottom five after 10 games it could be a long season.

“The first 10 are vital but our first six games look daunting, we just have to come through them.”

United expect Kalern Thomas, Joe Burgess and Cameron Johnson to overcome injury and illness to be available for the season’s opener at the Jakemans Stadium on Saturday (KO 3pm).

Defender Nat Brown has missed most of pre-season with a thigh injury, but Greene hinted he still may feature on Saturday as Boston look to combat Celtic’s physical threats.

“Nat is the doubt, but if he’s available I’d rather gamble on him for the Saturday as Stalybridge are usually land of the giants, pumping long balls and throws into the box.

“The other two opponents (Harrogate on Tuesday and Darlington next Saturday) will play more football.

“We’d need Nat for that first game if he’s available and if we can get him to play we will.”