Though the BetVictor Northern Premier League action doesn't begin until next weekend, the FA Cup opens up for the 2019/20 season and allows seven NPL Sides a chance to begin their new campaigns this afternoon in the Extra Preliminary Round
Two ties in the opening round catch the eyes of the neutrals as new boys Dunston visit former Northern League rivals Consett while Clitheroe welcome a promotion-chasing 1874 Northwich side from the NWCFL
Last season Dunston felt the FA Cup dream fall away with a 4-0 defeat to Gateshead in the fourth qualifying round but manager Craig Scott feels no pressure of their journey from the exploits this time around.
Speaking with Dan Whelan, Dunston's match reporter, he said: "Maybe some clubs will want to put us out early but I don’t think that adds any pressure onto us.
"Everyone knows that last seasons run was great, and if we can repeat anything like that whilst competing in a higher league then it would be a massive bonus for the club. As a team, we’ll simply continue to go out to win every game like we did last season"
Phil Brown will be in new territory as a manager as he takes to Shawbridge this afternoon with Clitheroe in the Extra Preliminary Round as they welcome 1874 Northwich for their tie, knowing the pedigree of the opposition this weekend.
Speaking to the club's website, Phil said: “It’s a massive game – first up in the FA Cup – and we want to get through for many reasons, Financially it’s important and we also want to start in the right way. It won’t be easy. I’ve watched them and they have some decent players and have played a couple of games already. I think we’ve brought some good players in and we’ve got to go out and play our game and look to go through.”
City of Liverpool will also face unchartered territory as the first FA Cup match they play as the higher-ranked side in their third ever Cup campaign as they welcome NCEL side Campion who themselves enter the competition for the first time.
The Purps have yet to exit in the Premliniary rounds before but have been giant-killers more than goliaths in previous years which saw them exit against Chester last season in the Second Qualifying Round.
Carlton Town's returning manager Tommy Brookbanks will be waiting for a few late assessments for their trip to Barton Town. Carlton welcome back Brookbanks who helped them to five promotions in 14 years but will be looking to win their first FA Cup tie in five seasons to help celebrate their 115th Anniversary.
Elsewhere from the NPL sides entering this afternoon, Ilkeston Town will make their FA Cup debut with a trip to Loughborough University, Worksop Town welcome Melton Town FC from the United Counties League and Kendal Town compete in the Extra Preliminary for the first time as they host Hemsworth Miners Welfare.
The winners of Saturday's ties will not only advance to the next round on August 24th but will also receive £2,250 while the defeated sides receive £750.
The FA Cup sees an extension of the split Cup pot from last season throughout the Preliminary and Qualifying Rounds, along with the introduction of the same prize scheme in the FA Trophy too.
Any ties requiring replays will see them take place on the week commencing August 12th.