Eastbourne Hockey Club first team manger David Adelston amits his new look side will be thrown in at the deep end when they face Chichester at Beresford on Saturday (11.15am).
Chichester are expected to be one of the front runners in the race for the Southern Premier title this season and it’s certainly a teasting fixture for the men in their opening game of the season.
There have been changes in personell during the close season as the likes of Matt Minister, Andy Edwards, Mark Adelston and Jez Sumner have all departed.
However with the arrival of Ed Brown (defender), Tom Osbourne (defender), Chris Borsoi (goalkeeper) and James Caffyn, Adelston believes his squad looks in good shape.
“Chichester is without doubt one of the hardest games we are going to face this season.
“They are the most well-drilled and professional outfit we have in this league.
“I was impressed with them last season and I’m sure they will be competing for the title.
“It will be a stern test for us and a decent guage of what we can achieve this season.”
Last year Eastbourne enjoyed their highest ever finish in the hockey league pyramid as they finished ninth.
The Southern Premier is just one division below the national league and it’s the highest standard of hockey the club has competed at in their history.
Adelston added, “We finished well last season and the aim this year is to match that or indeed improve on it.
“We have some great young players at the club and in Chris Bristow we have the right coach to take us forward.
“Chris was superb for us last season. He leads all the training sessions and the players have really taken to him.”
The seconds are away at Brighton & Hove 3 in Sussex area division one.
On Sunday the juniors will be action in their under-10 and under-12 tounaments.