Lancaster City assistant boss Michael Stringfellow says he has “unfinished business” at the club on the eve of the new season.
The former Dolly Blues skipper left Giant Axe after City’s heartbreaking play-off final defeat to Colwyn Bay in 2009 but returned to the club in the summer to help out caretaker boss Mick Hoyle.
And Stringfellow says despite the changes at the club in the wake of Tony Hesketh’s hop operation, City can still challenge at the right end of the Evo-Stik First Division North this season.
He said: “It’s great to be back.
“I really enjoyed it the last time I was here. It’s a family club that’s great to be around, which you can see with the other lads who have come back as well.
“It was really unfortunate (in 2009) because on paper we deserved to go up that year.
“It’s always been in the back of my mind and there’s a bit of unfinished business.
“There’s been some changes and expectations maybe aren’t as high as they have been but we want to do as well as we can.
“I think people who have seen us during pre-season will agree that we can do quite well. There’s been lots of positives.”
City finished their pre-season campaign with a thumping 5-1 victory over an under-strength Buxton side on Saturday, with Dave Swarbrick scoring a hat-trick.
Stringfellow played a part as he bids to return to fitness ahead of the new campaign after missing part of pre-season with an eye injury.
He said: “I was just playing some seven-a-side to keep myself fit and fractured my eye socket.
“I’ve been able to train but couldn’t play because of the risk of contact and breaking it again.
“So I’ve done a lot of the running, the boring part of pre-season, but not had as many games as I’d like.”
Despite his return from injury Stringfellow won’t feature in Saturday’s opener against Farsley at Giant Axe because caretaker boss Hoyle is on holiday, meaning the former Morecambe man will run things from the touchline.
He said: “I’ll be taking the team because Mick is away but I came to play as well as coach and after Saturday.
“I’m ready to fight for my place.
“I think Farsley will be up there because they are a good side with some good players.
“You’ve got to play everyone over the season and sometimes it’s better to play sides like them early on.
“But we’re full of confidence and won’t be scared of anyone who comes to Giant Axe.
“We’ll be looking for a positive result that’s for sure.”