BALA Town manager Colin Caton has told his side they will need “100 per cent focus” in what is likely to be their toughest Welsh Premier League season to date, starting with the challenge of Newtown at Maes Tegid on Friday night.
“Every game is going to be so difficult and every team has to be 100 per cent focused week in, week out, to have any chance of coming away with three points – if teams don’t do that the they’ll be punished,” the Lakesiders boss said.
“Our only aim at the moment is to build ourselves up for the new season, we’re looking no further than Newtown – one game at a time.
“I’m just really keen to get going to be honest, because we’ve been in for a long time now and played a lot of friendlies as well as our European games, and I think everyone is just really eager to get back into the swing of consistent competitive football again.
“We’re as motivated as ever to keep going and keep progressing as a group, and that self-drive comes from within everyone that’s involved with the team.”
Bala’s pre-season preparations ended with a 2-2 draw at home to Welsh Alliance side Guilsfield last Wednesday, giving Caton plenty to consider ahead of Friday night’s game.
Bala took the lead against the Cymru Alliance side after just two minutes last Wednesday. Mike Hayes connected with a delivery from the left to head home.
The chances continued to come for Bala as Les Davies flashed an effort wide of the post before a low drive from Nathan Burke was saved.
Town doubled their lead after 20 minutes, though, when Burke received the ball on the edge of the area and unleashed a shot into the back of the net.
The Lakesiders continued to pepper the Guilsfield goal, with Jordan Evans seeing his 25-yard strike saved before Chris Venables rattled the base of the post just before the interval.
Caton made several changes at the break as Bala looked to press home their advantage,
Andrai Jones rattled the crossbar before Hayes fired a spectacular scissor kick over the bar.
But Guilsfield showed resilience to cut Bala’s lead as Jake Cooke took advantage of some loose play from the Lakesiders before weaving through the defence and slotting the ball home.
And with the visitors growing in confidence, Robbie James got his head on a corner at the far post to grab the equaliser right at the death.
Bala Town get their Welsh Premier League campaign underway at home to Newtown at 7.45pm on Friday.