New boss Danny Grainger is happy to leave it to his Workington players on the field without the need to pull on his boots.

Ahead of the new season, which opens at Borough Park tomorrow against Pickering Town, Grainger has announced himself well-satisfied with his 20-strong squad.

Despite his vast experience on both sides of the border, 33-year-old Grainger does not expect to figure in the team, apart from exceptional circumstances.

He said: “I have been more than happy with the way the squad has gelled together. We have a nice mix of experienced players and youngsters and I have a lot of confidence in what we can expect from them.”

But he has admitted that another veteran, former skipper Gari Rowntree has given him a problem ahead of selection for the first game.

“Gari is a member of the coaching staff but he has had more minutes on the field than we expected in pre-season.

“He has played in the centre of the defence rather than full-back and has looked as if he has played there all his career,” said Grainger.

Regular centre-back Sam Smith is certainly missing tomorrow as he is still nursing a troublesome ankle injury. New midfielder Owen Bell is not available while Kieran Maguire is away on holiday.

“We still have options but I have had the team in my head and I went through the possibilities with the rest of the coaching team ahead of our open training session on Thursday,” he said.

The first starting line-up of the season was announced to the players last night so they knew ahead of tomorrow’s game just who would be playing.

Pickering Town break new ground as they have not played the Reds before and have switched from the East Division to the West Division for the current season.

They were fifth bottom last season, with just eight wins but were ten points clear of the relegated side Gresley.

Tomorrow’s visitors have been adding to their squad this week ahead of the trip to west Cumbria.

Former Hull City left Leon Dawson was the latest to join The Pikes when he signed on Thursday while earlier in the week Scarborough-born defender Jake Watson joined on a month’s loan from York City.

They followed popular goalkeeper Harrison Foulkes re-joining the club on loan from Hull City. He had played a vital part in the team’s survival last season, making many fine saves in games where the points were precious .

He was named by Pickering manager Denny Ingram as his player of the season as well as scooping the accolade of goalkeeper of the season in the Evo Stik East Division.

Reds boss Grainger knows very little of what Pickering have to offer, apart from watching videos of them in action pre-season.

He said: “I put a lot more emphasis on my own team and what they are capable of. I have a lot of confidence in what they are capable of and am happy to leave it to them. We are all looking for a positive start to the season and I couldn’t be happier on how my players have responded throughout the pre-season.

“I’m more interested on how we perform as a team than the opposition.”

There’s a quick turn round for the squad as they are back in action on Tuesday night away to Trafford before starting the road to Wembley at Newcastle Benfield next Saturday as they open their FA Cup campaign.