During the past few seasons Ballyclare Comrades have had a yo-yo existence between Championship 1 and 2, but current boss Eddie Hill wants none of that.
As the countdown to this Saturday’s big kick-off gathers pace, his first aim is stability at the higher level; not just staying up.
“The players gave 100 per cent commitment last season to get us up, and they are determined to be there for the long haul,” he said.
“Our performances in the friendlies against the senior sides exceeded my expectations. We lost 1-0 to Ballymena United, 2-1 to Ards, drew with Coleraine and beat Crusaders. That indicates we should be able to hold our own against established Championship 1 sides like Dundela and the Welders.
“However, we will know where we are at when the league campaign kicks off against Donegal Celtic. They will be hurting after last season and will be aiming to start their drive for immediate return to the top tier with a win. We will have to be up for the battle.”