Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison tonight starts Pools’ preparations for their first ever crack at the National League.
Pools visit Northern League neighbours Billingham Town for their first warm-up game (7.45pm kick-off).
Having been handed the club’s fixture list just yesterday, and a home opener against Dover Athletic, Harrison admits the hard work starts now for Hartlepool, who are looking to bounce back to the Football League at the first time of asking.
Harrison said: “The excitement goes up and it can focus you a little more too once the fixtures are there in black and white. We’re only four weeks on Saturday away from getting underway, so we have a little bit of building time still, but it will soon come around.
“Now the fixtures are out, it gives us the opportunity to sit down as a staff and plan in a bit more depth how we’re going to structure the schedule and plot how we can get back in the EFL as quickly as possible.
“All things are looking positive at the club, so we’re all really looking forward to our first game at Billingham, and then making sure we are in good shape for that opening game on Saturday, August 5.”
Pools’ Vanarama National League fixtures
August: 5 Dover Athletic H, 8 Macclesfield Town A, 12 Maidenhead United A, 15 Chester H, 19 Bromley A, 26 AFC Fylde H, 28 Guiseley A
September: 2 Maidstone United H, 9 Dagenham and Redbridge H, 12 Wrexham A, 16 Leyton Orient A, 23 Eastleigh H, 30 Woking A
October: 3 Barrow H, 7 Solihull Moors A, 21 Sutton United H, 24 Tranmere Rovers H, 28 Torquay United A
November: 11 Boreham Wood A, 18 Aldershot Town H, 21 FC Halifax Town H, 25 Ebbsfleet United A
December: 2 Macclesfield Town H, 9 Dover Athletic A, 23 Maidenhead United H, 26 Gateshead A, 30 Chester A
January: 1 Gateshead H, 6 Dagenham and Redbridge A, 20 Wrexham H, 27 Eastleigh A
February: 3 Leyton Orient H, 10 Barrow A, 17 Woking H, 20 FC Halifax Town A, 24 Ebbsfleet United H
March: 3 Aldershot Town A, 10 Boreham Wood H, 17 AFC Fylde A, 24 Bromley H, 30 Maidstone United A
April: 2 Guiseley H, 7 Solihull Moors H, 14 Sutton United A, 21 Torquay United H, 28 Tranmere Rovers A