Vanarama's National League North fan preview: Altrincham

We're the ones with the questions and diehard Alty fan Mark Eckersall is the man with all the answers.

League sponsors Vanarama have been getting the fans’ perspective ahead of the new season - which kicks off this Saturday

The time for talk is almost over, what does this season have instore?
More of the same hopefully with a continued improvement. We have had two great seasons but need to keep pushing on and we are showing signs that we will.

How important was it for the club to keep most of last season’s squad together and maintain that stability going into the new season?
Phil Parkinson places a huge emphasis on a group mentality and spirit, and it's worked well for him so far. It should mean we can be at it from game one when others are bedding in, at least that's the plan!

Phil Parkinson certainly has been busy – what bit of business has impressed you the most?
I'd say keeping the team together was good as some could have gone elsewhere. In terms of signings, if Nathan Arnold can handle the travelling, I think he will be a great addition.

What, if anything, has changed since last August?
With a very similar team maybe not much but if we can cut out a couple of silly results and not repeat the weirdness of last year when we couldn't get near an organised but not spectacular Stockport side, then that will be enough to be in and around the top again I think.

Which player will catch the eye this season?
Although suspended for the start I think this will be the year that Josh Hancock comes to the fore. [Jordan] Hulme and [John] Johnston are always good value but it's hard to pick just one.

Who will scrapping it out for promotion?
There is a lot of teams capable this year. York must be up there, Spennymoor will go again, Brackley just always seem to be there and Kidderminster must do better with that setup. I rate Alun Armstrong as well so reckon that he will have Darlington up there. It’s going to be tougher this year but no runaway team I don't think.

What ground can’t you wait to visit?
None jump out really. I had hoped that York away would be earlier in the season as I love Bootham Crescent as it's a proper old ground. But it’ll be good to see their new one.

What game are you desperate for three points from?
We don't really have rivals in this league as I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to them. If pushed, I'd have to say Chester as they always make it a good atmosphere.

Name an opposition player you wish played for you.
Spennymoor are very lucky to have [Glen] Taylor and so maybe him if I was pushed.

And where are you hoping to finish in April?
I'm not going to be bold enough to say we will win it, but we need to try and push on. I think we might get third this year, but I never judge until ten games in. I'm looking forward to it, our football is a joy to watch at times, we've a great management team and a good bunch of lads - I think it will be one of the highest quality National League North seasons for a long time.

Vanarama, the leading van leasing brand in the UK, have recently launched the National League Club Reward Scheme to help fans back their club’s budget. Every time a fan takes out a brand new van lease with Vanarama or a brand new car lease with Motorama their club will earn £100 and you will receive £30 cashback.

For the latest van leasing deals, head to Vanarama.
For the latest car leasing deals, head to Motorama.

Where next?

Club-by-Club Guide for the Vanarama National League North With only three days to go until the start of the new season, we’ve prepared a special Twitter Club-by-Club guide.
BT Sport's Pundits on their Vanarama National League Season Predictions The BT Sport cameras roll once again, with the season's live coverage kick-starting at Edgeley Park on Saturday as Stockport County face Maidenhead United.