NEW players, new opponents, new staff and definitely a new way of working for Denton Town, with a new backer and a bright new future.
But when the players finally got back to doing what they do best, it was still the same old tried and tested formula.
Phill Cooper and new coaching staff member Kyle Lord led small groups of players through drills on the first day back. The venue was different, Haughton Green Playing fields instead of Whittle’s Park as work was being done on the pitch.
But with ladders runs, shuttle runs, passing drills and shooting drills, it resembled just another training session.
Despite that, times have certainly changed for Denton Town after investment from Hollywood film producer Rob Molloy saw them through their hour of need.
As a result, they have linked up with Matlock Town and Wirksworth Ivanhoe, who they will face in pre-season.
A run of friendlies that builds up to what will be a much-changed Cheshire League, league one.
Joint manager Phill Cooper explained: “Winstanley and Garswood have been promoted, with Cuddington pulling out.
“And there are a number of new teams coming in. I think it’s Parklands, Knowsley South, Winnington Avenue, Newton Athletic and Partington Village who have been promoted – it will certainly be a competitive division next season.
“But it was good to have the lads back in training and things are looking up.
“We have a few new sponsors and we have linked with Matlock Town. We’ll be sent players on dual registration throughout the season.
“Although there is some distance between the clubs, their manager, Paul Phillips, is local and will have players from the Manchester area.
“And there is the link with Rob. He wants to help push the club forward and it’s great for the club to have these links in place.”
Off the field, Denton Town are making strides in becoming bigger. On it, it will be much the same – only better.
When they do eventually get back on to the field is not yet known as the Football Association believes all leagues from step seven, which the Cheshire League is in, to step one – the National League – should start at the same time.
September is the current estimate but that all rests on the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
If the happens, it looks likely league and county cup competitions will not be played but a meeting on July 14 is likely to thrash out the details.
However, Phill believes his side is well placed to try and get back into the Premier Division.
He added: “We have brought Kyle Lord on board to work alongside Darren and I.
“Although he is a younger manager, he has vast amounts of experience.
“And on the playing front, we have managed to retain the majority of the current playing squad.
“In addition, we will be adding a few bits of quality ready to go and challenge for the title next season.
“Interest in Denton Town is ever growing and I urge the locals to come down once we start back!”