MALVERN Town's season begins this weekend with an FA Cup Extra-Preliminary clash at fellow Step 4 side Rugby Town. 

The Hillsiders completed their pre-season preparations with a 3-1 win over a young Cheltenham Town side on Tuesday night and are now set for their first season back at Step 4 in 14 years.

But first, they begin their FA Cup adventure on Saturday at Rugby, another side who were promoted from Step 5 into Step 4 last season. 

It looks set to be a tight contest and co-manager Stephen Cleal admits competition for places has given both him and fellow co-manager Lee Hooper some selection headaches.

"It’s going to be an interesting season with some new challenges, starting this weekend," said co-manager Stephen Cleal.

Malvern Gazette: Co-manager Stephen Cleal is looking forward to the season aheadCo-manager Stephen Cleal is looking forward to the season ahead (Image: Cliff Williams)

"It’s a good set-up at Rugby Town and a decent playing surface; they’re all difficult games in this competition but we’re looking forward to pitting our wits against them.

"We’ve got pretty much a full squad to choose from so Hoops (co-manager Lee Hooper) and I have some tough decisions to make.

"We’ve trained hard over the summer and we’ve been able to bring in players who have brought into our philosophies and ethos and have integrated well into the group.

"It was important that we added the right characters and I am pleased with the quality that has come in. It’s been a very positive pre-season and now we can’t wait for the action to start for real.

"Hopefully we’ll get good numbers following us to the game. The fans make so much difference and it is important for us to have that, so I encourage as many of you as possible to make the journey and get behind us."