Wisbech St Mary are set to write a new chapter in their history on Saturday when they begin their first-ever season at Step Six of non-league football’s pyramid.
The club will make their bow in Division One of the Thurlow Nunn League when they host AFC Sudbury Reserves at the Wisbech St Mary Sports and Community Centre.
It marks a new era for the Saints who finished fifth in the Cambs Kershaw League last term.
Assistant manager Robbie Harris said: “This is our first season of Step Six football so it’s going to be a massive challenge for us.
“As a club it’s a step into the unknown a little bit, but most of the squad we’ve assembled have played at this lever, or higher, before.
“Our aim is to consolidate, but at the same time be competitive against all of the sides in the league.
“We are not paying out money, but if we play well and to our full potential there’s no reason why we can’t perhaps achieve a top-half finish.”
Harris has a wealth of experience in the non-league game and the former King’s Lynn Town and Fakenham Town frontman will assist manager Arran Duke at Station Road, along with club stalwart Ed Godfrey.
Among a raft of summer signings were goalkeeper Matt Hails, defender and former Swaffham Town captain Dean Miller, ex-Wisbech and Wroxham striker Nick Davey and talented Portugese youngster Alfa Jalo.
Other new teams in the league this season include Coggeshall Town, who are being backed by pop star Olly Murs, Framlingham Town and Holland FC.
Although their aim is consolidation, the Saints want to progress as far as they can.
“The club had a five-year plan when they went into the Cambs League,” said Harris.
“They wanted to make the step up to Step Six, but the eventual aim is to progress even further and not sit still.
“It would be great if we were playing at the same level as Wisbech in the next couple of years.”
After hosting AFC Sudbury Reserves on Saturday, the Saints will travel to March Town United for their first league derby on the Tuesday.
Harris said: “Our first two games are against sides who finished 10th and 12th respectively in the league last season.
“It will give us an indication of where we are and what we will need to do in the week’s ahead.”
A home derby clash against March Town United in the FA Vase is also a possibility if the Saints can upset Gorleston first.