MANAGER Steve Evans says he is expecting “a really tough challenge” when the Seagulls open their 2023/24 campaign with a home tie against Airbus UK Broughton on Saturday (Aug 5, 2:30pm kick-off) in the Nathaniel MG Cup.

The Wingmen’s summer signings include Kristian Platt and Craig Lingfield, who played a big part in Bay’s double-winning success last season, along with another ex-Bay player in Kieran Evans and his brother, Jordan, who had six seasons with Fulham before spells at Bala Town, Cefn Druids and Newtown, and highly-rated keeper Keighan Jones from Holywell Town.

They opened their JD Cymru North campaign with a 3-0 home win over Guilsfield last weekend, with Craig Lingfield among the scorers, and are aiming for a quick return to the Welsh Prem after relegation last season.

Platty, a virtual ever-present, and Linny scored 13 goals between them for the Bay last season and Kristian topped 50 appearances (nine goals including the winner in a 1-0 win at Holywell Town in 2022) in his two seasons at the club, and was a big player for the club.

Sadly he couldn’t commit to the travelling in the Cymru Premier and he will be missed.

Linny scored 10 goals in 37 apperances, while Kieran Evans made 14 appearances (scoring two goals) during the 2021/22 season.

Steve Evans says that he has been pleased with pre-season, but looking ahead to Saturday’s cup game, he commented: “It’s going to be a real tough challenge.

“We’ll do our due diligence and we’ll prepare right on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of the challenge, and we are looking forward to it.

“We are going to embrace each challenge as it comes and enjoy the journey along with the fans and everyone at the club.”

Regarding the pre-season preparations, Steve added: “The structure we put in place has worked perfectly.

“The lads are looking well, feeling good and are in good condition and raring to go.

“We’ll play our way, and although it’s going to be much harder this year, we are ready for that.

“We’ll concentrate on ourselves, but although obviously we will take the opposition into account as we need to, it will be mainly be about us and how we approach each game.”

A win on Saturday would break new ground for the Seagulls, having not previously played beyond the second round in this competition.