Opening challenges excite boss Hendey as Town set to face top-five opposition

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Steve Hendey believes Melton Town have been given the perfect opportunity to show the rest of the league that his side mean business.

Town will kick off their United Counties League Division One campaign against two of last year’s top-five sides.

First up will be the tricky away trip to Olney Town on Saturday, August 5.

And that will be followed a week later by the arrival of Buckingham Town at Melton Sports Village.

And although that may look like a tough task for any side in this division, Hendey is excited about the prospect of laying down an early marker.

“If you have aspirations of having a good season then these are the games you look forward to,” he said.

“It’s always good if you can start your season strongly, and we will be looking to do that.

“You have to play everyone twice and these are games we can get out of the way early on.”

Hendey, however, will not be underestimating the strengths of Olney - who finished fourth last season - and Buckingham, who ended their campaign in fifth.

He added: “Sides often change from one season to the next, but I imagine they will both still be strong outfits.

“Traditionally they are both strong clubs anyway.”

Melton are still looking for their first win of pre-season and hope to put that right on Saturday when East Leake Athletic - their first lower-level opponents so far - are the visitors for a friendly (KO 3pm).

The arrival of a Mansfield Town XI will offer another exciting test on Tuesday evening (7.45pm).

Town will conclude their warm-up fixtures at Birstall United on July 29.

Kick off will be at 3pm.