WORCESTER City will appear in front of spectators for a match for the first time since Boxing Day 2020 when they kick-off their pre-season schedule at Cheltenham Saracens this afternoon (2.30pm kick-off).

Manager Tim Harris will be on the touchline for the first time as boss since his appointment in January - during the third lockdown after Covid put an end to the 2020/21 non-league football season.

City start a run of seven games in a month against the Hellenic League Division 1 West outfit from Cheltenham, before more daunting trips to the likes of National League North side Leamington FC on Tuesday evening and Evesham United next Saturday.

The emphasis over the next few weeks will be to get players back to match fitness but manager Harris will also use this time to trial some new faces.

"I am looking forward to it with interest," he said.

"I am looking forward to seeing how they transfer what they have done in training into a game and also excited to see a few of the boys we have brought in to have a look at. ‘Excite me, show me what you can do’, that’s what I want them to think.

"But I think the most important thing is that we are back out kicking a ball around. The programme has been really hectic so far; we have had four training sessions this week and the players have been fantastic.

"Pre-season is not about winning games. What it does give is confidence to the side and building character as a team. Some of the fixtures of the sides we’re playing; it’s going to be a real test of their fitness against sides much higher up the levels than us."

Harris revealed there would be no less than eight trialists involved for City this afternoon, as the recruitment process continues.

City have so far recruited three new players for the 2021/22 season, with non-league goal machine Daniel Westwood and former Tamworth defender Louis Ezewele joining last month.

Young midfielder Billy Shaw was signed on a six-month loan deal last week at the same time that Sean Brain and Ryan Winwood departed.

The pair followed Andy Nicol, Nat Kelly, Ben Birch, Marco Adaggio and Gabriel Bajrami through the exit door.