AS the 2022/23 campaign edged ever closer, Worcester City and Worcester Raiders' ramp up their pre-season preparations this weekend. 

Both City and Raiders are facing Welsh opposition this Saturday; with Tim Harris men making the trip to Monmouthshire to take on Goytre AFC (2pm kick-off), whilst Karl Gormley's side welcome Penybont FC to Sixways (3pm kick-off). 

But who are these two teams and what can we expect from them?

Well, Raiders took on Penybont last year ahead of their 2021/22 campaign and were well beaten that day, losing 5-1.

Penybont play in the top flight in Wales (Cymru Premier) and last season, they finished runners-up to The New Saints, a side who regularly reach the qualifying stages of the Champions League/Europea League.

Bont have been racking up the goals this summer, scoring a total of 20 across four games, including a staggering 10-0 win over Step 4 side Bristol Manor Farm.

That indicates the challenge ahead of Gormley's men on Saturday, so it should prove to be a good test of where Raiders are at with just 10 days to go until their Hellenic League Premier campaign kicks-off.

As for Worcester, they are packing up their kit for a Welsh trip.

Last year Harris took his charges to Briton Ferry Llanswel and the side also used it for a team-bonding weekend as Harris had only managed a few matches by that point.

Goytre play their football in the third division of Welsh football, so probably the equivalent to Step 3/4 in England.

Goytre played Paulton Rovers earlier this month, a side that play a league above City in Division One of the Southern League, and beat them 3-1.

They have brought in a number of new faces over the summer who may be recognisable to some English non-league fans.

Abdoulie Tunkara signed from Chipping Sodbury and former Evesham United midfielder Ashley Williams has also made the move over the boarder.

Former Yate Town striker Mitchell Page is the new number nine and Goytre also have Newport County’s all time record appearance holder in Nathan Davies in their squad.

Other notable incomings include Lee Hartshorn from Bradford Town and Brandon Powell from Hereford.