BIDEFORD expect Bridgwater and Albion’s pitch to help them quickly find their feet in Tribute South West One West.
The promotion-winning Chiefs will make history tomorrow as the first Bideford team to play at such a high level.
And they will be keen to make a strong start as they seek to establish themselves at the top level of the South West Leagues.
“We will be trying hard to hit the ground running against Bridgwater and Albion,” said Mark Priest, the head coach.
“Bridgwater have a first-class pitch and that will suit us – it will suit our backs.
“A lot of the players will never have played there. It’s a new environment and that’s part of the adventure.”
Bideford stumbled in March, allowing St Austell to take the Western Counties West title, but finished strongly with three successive league wins in April.
They clinched promotion with an outstanding performance in the 27-20 play-off win at Wells.
“The referee for the play-off seemed to think that if we played like we did against Wells we would be OK (in South West One),” said Priest.
“We know it’s going to be a harder league but I’m sure we can adapt and I have every confidence the boys can do that.”
Neil Giddy, who can play at fly half or centre, is in line to make his debut for Bideford after returning to his first club from Barnstaple.
They hoped Chris Snell would be fit to start at scrum half after missing pre-season through injury.
Bideford have won their last four opening-day fixtures.
Bideford’s recent opening-day fixtures
September 1, 2012: Torquay Ath 25 Bideford 32 (tries: Weston, Dennis, Olde 2; cons: Wickett 3; pens: Wickett 2).
September 3, 2011: Bideford 29 (tries: Griffin, O’Sullivan, Olde 2; cons: Wickett 3; pen: Wickett) Devonport Services 5.
September 4, 2010: Withycombe 13 Bideford 29 (tries: Schofield 2, Buckland 2, Hockridge; cons: Slee 2).
September 5, 2009: Bideford 30 (Dennis, Schofield 2, Mushava; cons: Snell 2; pens: Snell 3) Falmouth 10.