Hampshire Premier League Division One side Andover Lions start their pre-season friendlies on Saturday with a trip to Downton of the Wessex League who are now managed by former Andover 'keeper Colin Hopkins.

The Lions' team will have a familiar look to it as Chris Paris and Ray Cozze are delighted that the core of the team have signed on again for the new campaign.

Club secretary Paris is upbeat about the new season: “Last season we did very well, particularly in the first half and it was no surprise that other teams would be chasing our players hard.

‘It was important for us to keep the spine of the team in place and build upon that.

‘John Robb has been an inspiration for the last three seasons and as club captain his signing was huge for us as there were plenty of others after him.

On top of that players like Jamie Pollard, who was outstanding last season, the gifted Danny Lewis and club stalwarts Darren Paris and Dan Reynolds have all followed Casson Spencers' lead by signing forms for us.

We have added some quality players with Aaron Jeffery and Robbie Owen both joining and we have one or two more who are training with us and looking to sign.

Our league campaign does not start until August 23 when we travel to Lyndhurst by which time we should be in good shape to push for promotion"

The Lions will continue their pre season friendlies with a match on July 19 against The Comrades Club of Eastleigh who were Southampton Senior League Cup winners last season.