Promotion to the Ebac Northern League has been a long time coming for Redcar Athletic.

But tomorrow they play their first league match away to Easington Colliery – a match that everyone at the club is looking forward with eager anticipation.

They come into the league as champions of the Wearside League, winning the championship on the last day of the season with an emphatic 7-0 victory.

Club secretary Kevin Fryett said:

“This is the culmination of years of hard work by everyone connected with the club – players, the management team and volunteers.

“There’s a big sense of relief that we’re in the league; everyone’s buzzing at the moment.

For the past five years the club has been preparing the ground to ensure that it met the grading requirements for the league.

All the preparations are now in place – with the club taking delivery of their new 50-seater stand in the week leading up to the opening game.  The money for the stand came from the Football Foundation Football Stadia Improvement Fund.

“We have applied to join the Northern League for a couple of years.  The ground has always been there or thereabouts.  We’ve got a new turnstile, fencing and paths.  There are really exciting times ahead.  We can’t wait for Saturday.”

The club’s ambitions are to get established in the second division over the next couple of seasons and then progress from there.  They play a big part in the local community and being in the league has given them a higher profile in the town, especially when it comes to sponsorship.

Assistant manager Harry Taylor said:

“Pre-season has been excellent.  We’ve had 12 sessions and recruited four or five new players into the squad, most with a vast amount of Northern League experience.

“We are preparing well for the new season to give ourselves a good chance.”

Club captain Mike Woodhouse added:

“Everyone’s excited and can’t wait to get going.  We have a few new players and they’ve all fitted in well – we’ve known each other from other clubs in the past.

“We should do well.  We have competed against Division Two teams from the league in previous years in cup games and friendlies and have always done well.”

This year they’ve been pitted against better opposition for their pre-season friendly schedule compared to previous years.  “Teams will be fitter and better organised,” he added.

And their first home game is against Thornaby on Wednesday.

Their ground is at Green Lane in Redcar – post code TS10 3RW for sat nav.

Their website is at: https://www.redcarathletic.co.uk