NEW CLUB PROFILES: BORO RANGERS
Boro Rangers have faced challenges before a ball is kicked in the new season.
Having won the North Riding League several times, they were denied promotion due to ground grading issues and the pandemic. But they’ve finally made it.
They’ll be playing at New Ferens Park in Durham but their plan is that it will only be their temporary home and preparations are already in hand for a return to Teesside, with a new facility being built at Trinity Catholic College
Boro Rangers chairman Mark Curtis said: “We are all set to go for the new season in the new league. It’s been frustrating that it took so long to get promoted. We’re now looking forward rather than looking back and we’re desperate to get going.
“But our aim is to get back to Middlesbrough sooner rather than later. Playing at New Ferens is a temporary measure. The first phase of the development at the new ground is this summer with a new pitch and infrastructure, with phase two next summer to make it a Step 5 standard ground.”
They’ve kept faith with the players who won promotion. “It’s right to give them the chance to compete at this level – they stuck with the club for a number of years; they were as frustrated as we were.”
Being some way away from their Teesside “home” they’re realistic about the number of people who will come to see them, with bigger crowds expected once they’re in the new ground. “Potentially we have a large fan base but we know that not many will travel from Middlesbrough to Durham.
“We obviously want to be at the right end of the table, but only time will tell.”
Manager Ben Wheatley added: “It’s been a long time coming for us. I think we’re well set up, but we’ll find out sooner or later! Pre-season we’ve played a couple of teams from the Wearside and North Riding leagues but our biggest test was against Stockton Town.
“It’s mainly been about getting the lads fit and playing together again after the break.
“The main challenge will be the mentality of the team – how we can deal with difficult situations and the number of games we’ve got up to the end of September, which is more than we have had before.
“We won some games in the North Riding League without being at 100 per cent, but that’s not going to be the case in the Northern League. Not every game is going to go our way and we’ll need to show commitment and the right mentality.”