ROSS Thorpe believes Dale will face an extremely tough examination in tomorrow afternoon’s opening day encounter with newly promoted Shaw Lane Aquaforce at The Beeches (KO 15:00).

Aquaforce were Northern East Counties Football League champions last season and make their EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Division One South bow with a trip to the Black Country to face Tivi’s new look squad of players.

And Thorpe, 34, believes the Barnsley-based outfit will be looking to impress on their Step 4 Football debut.

The former Alvechurch boss said: “It’s going to be a tough test, there’s no doubt about that.

“We don’t know much about them, and vice versa. We have a brand new set of players from last season so it’s all fairly new to everybody, really.

“I have done some research and spoken to one or two people to find out a little bit more about the way Aquaforce play. I’ve received some interesting feedback and I think we are in for a good game.”

Dale’s Joint Manager has called on his players to enjoy the occasion and show no fear on the opening day of the 2015-16 campaign when they take to the field tomorrow afternoon, adding: “I want my players to embrace the experience.

“We have some very talented football players and I want them to demonstrate that. I don’t want the players to show any fear when they cross the white line.

“I felt we did well at Halesowen last weekend, particularly in the first half. We posed them problems and with the players at our disposal, there’s no reason why we can’t cause Shaw Lane Aquaforce problems tomorrow, especially playing at home.

“However, we respect the fact they are a very powerful side and know our levels of concentration and discipline will be massively important.”