Manager Andy Coyles admits he is thrilled his Penrith AFC team will begin their new season at home.

Six weeks after their first pre-season friendly clash, the Bonny Blues will be hoping to get their competitive 2019/20 season off to a winning start today (3pm kick-off), as they welcome Bishop Auckland to Frenchfield Park.

And Coyles wants to see “a few fresh faces” at the Cumbrian club’s ground after being impressed with the numbers that have watched their friendly fixtures.

Coyles said: "It’s always nice to start at home.

"It’s a fresh season so, hopefully, we can have a few fresh faces down at Frenchfields.

"Numbers have been good, watching our games. I think the fact we brought a few players back, who have once been at Penrith, has helped to show signs of exciting times.

"I think our squad size at the moment is, roughly, around 20 or 21.

"We had a discussion after the game on Tuesday night [a 5-0 friendly success over Holker Old Boys] that we are wanting to go with a rotational policy because of the significant amount of games we are going to have [early in the season].

"It was good that the players all understood the relevance of it and they were happy to be on board with that.

"So, there is a really good feel-good factor at the moment.

"We just hope we can give a good account of ourselves."

Despite finishing bottom last campaign, Penrith will remain in Northern League, Division One for the new campaign after they had their place in the league confirmed by The FA this summer.

They had though, in fact, finished their 2018/19 season in decent form.

"We did finish quite well. I think on the form table we finished sixth actually," Coyles admitted.

"It was just a very poor start that led to where we finished. Saying that, we had to build the squad completely from scratch [when Coyles first took charge last October].

"Doing that and then starting to get some results was quite pleasing, really. Everyone had come together, the players, coaching staff and senior members at the club, everyone was responsible for helping that to happen.

"Everyone is pulling in the same direction, both on and off the field. I think that’s key for success moving forwards."

During the close-season, Shaun Gardner and Matty Clarke have left the club for Bradford (Park Avenue), with Gardner taking up a player-assistant manager role.

Robbie Hebson has also left and linked up with Danny Grainger’s Workington Reds.