HARWICH and Parkeston manager Kieron Shelley says he and his players are in positive, confident mood heading into Saturday's Thurlow Nunn League curtain-raiser against Brightlingsea Regent Reserves.

The Tendring neighbours are set to do battle in a 3pm kick-off at the Gwinnell & Sons Royal Oak.

Harwich have enjoyed a successful pre-season, beating higher-placed sides including Stanway Rovers and Felixstowe and Walton.

They finished their warm-up fixtures with an encouraging 6-2 victory against Leiston Reserves on Saturday.

"It's exciting and we're ready to go," said Shelley.

"We've only had two bad performances during pre-season but even then, we've always taken the positives.

"We never focus on negatives or feel sorry for ourselves and always prefer to ask ourselves what was good or what we can take away from a game.

"That's what I'm all about.

"Next season is going to be tough but I think we're going to be alright.

"Every club is going for promotion and every manager and coach I speak to says 'we're really going for it this year'.

"Hopefully we're up there too but it's about what happens on any given day.

"Most of the players in this league are at this level for a reason so it's about working hard, kicking on and hopefully doing something special."

Shelley, who was quick to thank all the sponsors who have backed the club during the close season, is excited by the prospect of an eye-catching opening week of the season.

After Saturday, they have another home game on Tuesday against more Tendring opposition in Holland FC.

Then, on August 10, the Shrimpers have an eagerly-awaited FA Cup extra preliminary round tie at Ilford.

It will be their first match in the world-famous competition for a decade.

"It's a very exciting start with two derbies and then an FA Cup tie," added Shelley.

"If things go well in those matches, we'll be flying.

"Everyone in our dressing room wants to improve and believes we (the management team) know what we're talking about, which makes a hell of a difference.

"I've been in dressing rooms where managers go on and on but if you don't believe in them you don't listen.

"It goes in one ear and out the other.

"But I believe in myself and believe that what I say is right.

"The players trust me and I appreciate that."