Excitement in the air as Corinthians kick it off

Mitch Austin will lead Rothwell Corinthians into the start of a new Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division season this weekend. Picture by Alison Bagley
Mitch Austin will lead Rothwell Corinthians into the start of a new Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division season this weekend. Picture by Alison Bagley

The new Uhlsport United Counties League season swings into action this weekend as part of the annual Groundhop Weekend.

And no fewer than four local clubs will be in action.

On Sunday, there is Division One action at Alfred Street as Irchester United entertain Whitworth, who were relegated from the top flight last season (kick-off 1.45pm).

And, on Saturday night (7.45pm), Burton Park Wanderers get their Division One campaign under way with a clash against Lutterworth Athletic at Latimer Park.

But the season kicks-off at 5pm on Saturday evening as Rothwell Corinthians take on newly-promoted Lutterworth Town in the Premier Division at Sergeants Lawn.

A big crowd is expected to be on hand for the opening game of the UCL campaign and it will also mark Mitch Austin’s first league game in charge of Corinthians after he took the reins over the summer following the departure of Jim Scott.

Former Kettering Town assistant-manager and Sileby Rangers boss Austin has seen his team enjoy a successful pre-season campaign, which included a 3-1 success over Corby Town last weekend.

And he is looking forward to the new challenge at Sergeants Lawn, although he believes his team face a stern opening-day test against last season’s Division One champions.

“I am really excited about it,” the Corinthians boss said.

“It’s a new club and new area for me and I am just trying to stamp my mark on it.

“There are some great people here and it’s a great set up.

“We have some good lads who have stayed on from last season’s squad and we have added four or five and they have all worked really hard.

“We have had them in Saturday-Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday because we knew we were starting that bit earlier than everyone else.

“It’s probably been my most enjoyable pre-season so far and now we are looking forward to starting the real thing.

“It’s a great test for us this weekend. They were the Division One champions last season and they deserved it.

“I went up against them once while I was at Sileby and they beat us 5-0 and they were very good.

“It’s a tough start but we are really excited about the occasion.

“The Groundhop Weekend usually brings with it a big crowd and I hope we can put on a performance to encourage those who come along to come and watch us again later in the season."