Bridgwater and Albion boss Kevin Innalls says his side must “hit the ground running” when they kick off life after relegation tomorrow (September 1).

Albion welcome Cullompton to College Way in their first South-West Division 1 clash after last season’s disappointing campaign ended in relegation heartbreak.

Innalls, who is starting his first full season as head coach, says his squad is in good shape and are ready for the “critical” curtain-raiser against the Devon outfit.

He told the Mercury this week: “It’s critical we hit the ground running and get off to a good start after last season.

“It was very disappointing from everybody’s point of view – the players, staff and the fans.

“This is a chance for a fresh start but we know it’s not going to be easy. This is a tough division and the refereeing is somewhat indifferent, so we have to be disciplined and stick to our tasks.”

Apart from Sam Osborne, who is having time out from rugby, and Joe Bussell, who left the club to join Barnstaple a couple of weeks ago, Bridgwater have retained all of last year’s players. Innalls has also been looking at youngsters at his disposal in the Colts side.

He added: “We’ve got a good little squad together and we’ve been doing alright.

“When we put our full strength side out against Burnham and Newbury we did well, but this pre-season we’ve been trying to take a look at everybody.

“We did excellenty in the second half at Hornets with a depleted squad. We had a lot of people injured and away.”

One decision left to make before Saturday’s match is who will captain the side, with Innalls adding: “We’ve not decided on a captain yet.

“We’ve got somebody in mind and he’s thinking about it. We’ll announce something next week.”