Gosport Borough are expecting a carnival atmosphere as they begin their Evo-Stik Southern League South & West season against Tiverton Town at Privett Park (3pm).
The chairman of the league and other dignitaries will be present as the match-ball is due to be delivered to the centre circle in an Atlas helicopter.
Borough manager Alex Pike is determined to put the frustrations of the last two seasons behind him – when his side disappointingly fell short of the play-offs – and make it third time lucky.
‘I have been a manager for some 20 years and the last two barren seasons have given me the motivation to stand up and be counted,’ said the boss.
‘The squad I have put together I think are of the same ilk and are prepared to fight for success.
‘Most of last season’s squad are still here, which will give us continuity, and the new players I have brought in have given us a good blend.
‘The youngsters brought in will get a fair crack of the whip and it will be up to them to make the most of their opportunities.
‘We have not won our opening game of the season for a while now so that is something we would like to put straight.
‘It is important to make a good start but Tiverton, who were relegated last season, are tough opponents.
‘Our home record last season, though, was second to none and that is something we must replicate.’
Borough include all their new recruits in their opening day squad.
Goalkeeper Ryan Pryce (Salisbury), Brett Poate (Eastleigh), Leigh Molyneux (Blackfield), Gavin Jones (Moneyfields), George Way (Horndean) and Nathan Kirby (Fareham) are all likely to make their debuts.
Gosport Borough: Pryce, Hards, Cook, Birmingham, Molyneuax, Poate, Cox, Kirby, Ford, Way, Bennett, Taylor, Sewell, Wild, Jones G, Chuddy, Woodward, Norton, Cotton, O’Neil, Howes