Bury to face promotion expectation

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BURY will not shy away from their tag as London One North promotion favourites, according to head coach Gavin Hogg.

The Haberden-based outfit ended last season with 11 straight victories – including a convincing Suffolk Cup final success over rivals Colchester – and would have been in a promotion play-off had it not been for a 25-point deduction.

But Hogg is aiming to put that right this campaign, with Bury beginning their title charge at home to Rochford Hundred tomorrow (3pm).

“If you have aspirations of promotion, you cannot afford to slip more than four or five times and in the past Bury have been very slow starters,” said Hogg, whose side will face promotion challengers Diss, Colchester and Letchworth Garden City in a difficult opening month.

“We certainly won’t hide from the tag of being one of the favourites to get promoted. “We won’t be disrespectful to the opposition and will respond in the right manner to earn those four points on offer.

“Our aspiration this year is to get promoted and that is pressure we have placed on ourselves.”

Bury have re-signed winger/full-back Chris Snelling and centre Pat Harrison – who is not fit to take his place in the squad tomorrow – while overseas back row forwards Rob Blatch and Ben Radmall have also joined.

Hogg has also moved to secure the signatures of second row forward Aaron Waters from Thurston, front row forward Adam Smith from Shelford and back row forward Ed Hawkins from Stowmarket.

Going the other way, full-back Barry Frost, centre Tim Mann and back row forward Warren Kearney – also an international curler – have moved on to pastures new.