Yeovil Town could not have wished for much bigger opposition on the opening day of the npower League One season according to midfielder Ed Upson.
The Glovers start their 2012-13 campaign against relegated Coventry City at Huish Park, days after hosting Colchester United in the Capital One Cup.
A midweek trip to West London and Brentford follows the visit of City, with Doncaster Rovers, MK Dons, Sheffield United and Portsmouth also facing the Glovers within the first ten games.
Upson - who has agreed a two-year deal with Yeovil this summer - refused to underestimate the challenge ahead but said it would prove the strength of their squad.
“It will be one of the biggest games you can start with and it will be a tough start,” he said. “But after pre-season I am sure we will be looking strong. It is a tough start but nobody is going to be an easy game in that league, you never look at it like that and you have always got to be positive whoever you get.
“If we have a good pre-season we will be ready for anything. I know I am looking forward to coming back and getting to know everyone again because we are going to have a little bit of a new team again.
“If we can gel together well then hopefully we can have a good start and if we get through that start well it can hopefully set us up for a good season.”
The 22-year-old former Ipswich Town youngster backed new faces heading to Huish Park to shine.
Attackers Keanu Marsh-Brown, Sam Foley and Reuben Reid have joined defender Richard Hinds in committing their futures to the Glovers, while manager GAry Johnson suggested his starting XI could be close to complete by the time the club reports for pre-season training on July 2.
Upson said: “They all seem to be exciting players and I am looking forward to playing with them and I am sure all the other lads are as well. It is going to be an exciting time.
“It is good to see players stay at the club also because they are friends as well. It is nice to keep some of the lads and obviously you meet new team-mates and get to know them by the end of the season, but these lads I have been with for at least a year already and it is nice that they have stayed.
“They are obviously good players, we know their games really well, they know my game and hopefully the whole team can gel.”
Johnson this week told the club website: “I am happy that we did most of our business early this summer so that we have as many of our starting line up for opening day in as soon as possible.
“This season we will be ready earlier and I will hopefully have most of my first eleven in place when we come back to training.”
Upson said he did not know what to expect from a pre-season schedule with Gary Johnson but added he will be working hard over the next week to ensure he returns in good shape.
“I don’t know what to expect to be honest because obviously (former coach) Nathan Jones took a lot of pre-season for last season and the season before,” said Upson.
“They were really superb pre-seasons, especially last season when I have never felt fitter. I am not sure what this pre-season is going to be like but I have done a lot of work over the past two weeks and over the next two weeks I will still be preparing for myself so hopefully it will not be too much of a shock to the system.”
Reflecting on the fixtures, Johnson said: “It is a great start to get a big home game at the start of the season, especially as it is the beginning of our tenth anniversary in the Football League.”
FIXTURES IN FULL
August: 14 Colchester (H) (Capital One Cup); 18 Coventry (H); 21 Brentford (A); 25 Scunthorpe (A).
September: 1 Doncaster (H); 8 Bournemouth (H); 15 Milton Keynes Dons (A); 18 Leyton Orient (A); 22 Sheffield Utd (H); 29 Preston (A).
October: 2 Portsmouth (H); 6 Colchester (H); 13 Tranmere (A); 20 Bury (H); 23 Shrewsbury (A); 27 Crewe (A).
November: 6 Stevenage (H); 10 Hartlepool (H); 17 Swindon (A); 20 Crawley Tn (A); 24 Carlisle (H).
December: 8 Notts Co (H); 15 Walsall (A); 22 Oldham (H); 26 Bournemouth (A); 29 Portsmouth (A).
January: 1 Leyton Orient (H); 5 Milton Keynes Dons (H); 12 Sheffield Utd (A); 19 Preston (H); 26 Oldham (A).
February: 2 Brentford (H); 9 Coventry (A); 16 Scunthorpe (H); 23 Doncaster (A); 26 Colchester (A).
March: 2 Tranmere (H); 9 Hartlepool (A); 12 Crawley Tn (H); 16 Swindon (H); 23 Carlisle (A); 30 Walsall (H).
April: 1 Notts Co (A); 6 Shrewsbury (H); 13 Stevenage (A); 20 Crewe (H); 27 Bury (A)
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