Hackett: Title race is wide open

Stourbridge boss Gary Hackett reckons this season's race for the EVO-STIK League's top flight title is wide open.

As he prepared his side to host Matlock Town on Sunday in their delayed start to the campaign, the Glassboys manager told fans on Saturday that any one of a number of teams could be involved in the championship.

Hackett - whose side made national headlines again last season by reaching the third round of the Emirates FA Cup for the first time in the club's history - told nonleague.pitchero.com: “That’s something about this league, often one of the surprise teams does well. I think a lot of people would have said Blyth would do well last season, but nobody thought they would have run away with it.

“There’s a lot of strong teams, some look a bit stronger than others perhaps but it looks open again. We can’t wait to get down to business.”

Hackett also believes Sunday’s game against the Gladiators at the War Memorial Athletic Ground will be a tough examination of his own side's EVO-STIK League Premier Division credentials, declaring: “They’re a good side. They’ll be looking at playing a part up the top this year as will quite a few others. With some good fortune we can have a say."

He added: "You never know quite how it will pan out but there players have worked hard over the summer. It’s difficult to tell until a few months in but we’re sure the league will be very competitive. There’s a lot of quality sides.”

Image courtesy of thenonleaguefootballpaper.com

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