Despite their lack of money or a wealthy backer, the Lilywhites constantly manage to punch above their weight. Even though they are an Evo-stik first division north club, they have won four of the last five Manchester Premier Cups and regularly skirt with the play-off places.
Last season it was only in the last three or four games that injuries to spoiled the club’s promotion challenge. The aim is to be up there again next spring.
“I think a lot of managers would see the division as the most open it’s been for the last few years. The Darlingtons and Salfords have all passed through now and gone on to bigger things,” said Band.
“Then again, there are still a few sleeping giants. Hyde United have been relegated into the division. Then we’ve got Trafford, Glossop and Scarborough. Newly-promoted Tadcaster Albion have been spending money on ex-pros and you never know what Dave Pace will come up with at Droylsden, especially as they have their new arrangement with Stalybridge Celtic.”
Band and partner Lloyd Morrison have strengthens all parts of the squad over the summer. Central defender Desi Flanagan comes in from Abbey Hey. There’s midfielder Javan Benjamin from Liversedge, winger Jonah Gregory from Chelmsford, and strikers Jordan Bove (Oldham Athletic), Connor Bower (Ossett Albion) and Omar McKenzie (Radcliffe).
The Mossley boss added: “Lloyd and I still trying to make three more signings. We know the players we want and if we get them we get them. If we don’t, we won’t lose any sleep we’ll just move on to others.
“We’ve also got some suspensions and long-term injuries. When they return it’ll be like having new players.
“Ryan Barrow should soon be back after almost two years out. There’s Callum Warburton and Caldon Henson too. Tom Pratt’s banned for the first four games and Tom Dean for the first six. As they become available it’ll be like having new signings.
“In the meantime the other lads will get their opportunity and it’s up to them to stake a claim for their shirt.
“I’m hoping that we can get off to a good start and then that will give us a little bit of a cushion for when we do get bad results.”
Pre-season friendlies have produced a mixed bag of results but the managerial duo are unconcerned. The plan has been to get Mossley to face sides from a higher level so that their skills are properly tested.
This has also helped to sift the many triallists although Band is keen to stress that he and Morrison have tried to help unsuccessful players by finding other clubs where they can hone their skills before coming back to Seel Park for a second try.
Sam Parr and George Settle have signed for Winsford and Band says they will be better for a 12-month stint in the North West Counties League.
What does the new season hold? Saturday’s home clash with Kendal Town should offer some clues. Band summed up: “No one ever won anything on the first day of the season but we want a good start.
“We might have a few surprises in store. Lloyd and I love being the underdogs.”