Bury Town will open their Ryman League Premier Division campaign on the road at Hendon on Saturday, August 9.
The Greens finished just two points outside of the play-off places last season, while the Blues’ campaign petered out to a 15th-place finish.
Although confident his side can start the season well, new Bury boss Ben Chenery is expecting a tough first competitive match in charge.
“There are some clubs that are going to be pushing for promotion and have done good business, but I’m a great believer we’ve got to play them all,” said Chenery. “Whenever we play them is immaterial because everyone is starting from zero.”
Bury’s first home game is scheduled against newly-promoted Witham Town on Tuesday, August 12, and there is not let-up in games, with two matches a week pencilled in on the calendar right through until the end of September.
“It’s going to be a busy first few weeks, so we’ll have to be mindful of that with people still gaining match fitness through those first few fixtures,” added Chenery, whose side then host Enfield Town on Saturday, August 16, before travelling to Wingate and Finchley on August 19 and Maidstone United on August 23.
Former Bury Town marksman John Sands is back at Ram Meadow with Canvey Island on Monday, August 25, while there will be a Boxing Day reunion with former manager Richard Wilkins and ex-skipper Tom Bullard, both now at Leiston.
“It will be a good local derby and hopefully Wilks will buy me a beer because it’s his turn,” said Chenery on the prospect of facing the man he stood alongside in the dugout last season. “I’m pleased he’s back in football and Leiston will be strong this year.
“There will be an added spice and hopefully we can beat the winter weather to get it on.”
The Blues visit Canvey Island on New Year’s Day and Leiston on Easter Monday, August 6, before closing their campaign at home to Lewes on April 25.
FIVE KEY DATES
Opening day (Aug 9): Hendon v Bury Town
First home game (Aug 12): Bury Town v Witham Town
Boxing Day (Dec 26): Bury Town v Leiston
New Year’s Day (Jan 1): Canvey Island v Bury Town
Final day (Apr 25): Bury Town v Lewes