Nigel Law wants his Glenavon side to hit the ground running with a positive result in their league opener at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Saturday (3pm kick off).
The Blues had anything but a bright start last term, picking up just two points from their first four matches and Law knows an improvement on that form could bode well for the year ahead.
“If we start well, anything’s possible as Ballinamallard showed last season,” he said. “We came out of the blocks a lot slower than we wanted to last season so we have to learn from that. Hopefully we’re prepared a lot earlier this time.
“We’ve been looking forward to it for a while now. You come into pre-season with a lot of enthusiasm and you’re always craving the first league game.
“We’ve prepared well with our training and our friendlies. All the players have the number of minutes we wanted them to have so we’re just looking forward to getting into the competitive environment now so we can measure our progress and see where we are.”
Despite the Blues’ impressive (on paper, at least) front line, Law is not expecting another goal-fest this weekend.
“Definitely not,” he said. “I watched Ballymena on Saturday and on Monday night to get an idea of how they’ll play. They look very regimented and hard to break down. Chances will be at a premium so we’ll have to work hard, be creative and use the ball quickly. They’ll be difficult to play against.
“It’s important that we’re able to create and supply our frontline with as many quality balls as possible so that we can make the most of their attributes. Everybody makes note of the fire-power that we have up there but we have to work on how to take advantage of those players that we have.
“This fixture always provides a good bench-mark as to where a group of players is. It’s a real test but it’s one that we feel we’re well enough equipped to get a result from.”
The Blues will be without injured captain Brendan Shannon, new signing Adam Foley and Marc Brown.