Barnstaple Town’s pre-season schedule begins on Friday as the club looks forward to its third season in Evo-Stik League Division One South.

Barum host North Devon Premier side Braunton in the first of seven friendlies before the campaign gets underway on August 18.

Managers Dave Griffiths and Kevin Darch will be hoping to use the match to take a look at a number of new players who have expressed interest in joining the club.

Last season saw Barum battling for survival right up until the final day of the season after a difficult campaign. They finished 21st, with 29 points.

Now the pair are looking to the younger generation to help provide a foundation for the seasons to come.

Griffiths said: “There will be plenty of opportunities for youngsters coming in to get their chance to play Southern League football.

“We’re hoping to keep five or six of our key players from last season’s squad, and we’ve had lots of interest from a lot of young players who have been released from the likes of Exeter City and Yeovil Town.

“We’re positive, we’ve had a really good start to pre-season, and it’s up to us to get that core squad down to 15 or 16 players.

“Friday, we’re hoping will be a chance for us to field almost two sides against Braunton, which gives us time to do more training with the players.”

There have also been changes off the pitch. Peter Woodhams took over as chairman in May after Jasmine Chesters stood down. Chesters remains with the club as a director.

The club had looked into the possibility of stepping down to the South West Peninsula League ahead of the new season, before committing to the Southern League.