Sherwood Wolf Hunt kick off the new season on Saturday knowing they are in for an opening day battle.
The club visit Buxton on Saturday (April 30) in the Midland Premier Division.
The two clubs met two years ago in one of Wolf Hunt’s first matches but it isn’t fondly remembered as they were hammered 77-0 and two players picked up serious injuries.
Since those early days the club has gone on to thrive and heads into its’ third season looking to significantly close the gap since that mauling in 2014.
Co-chairman Richard Tempest-Mitchell told the Chad: “I’m expecting an absolute battle against Buxton.
“We played them two years ago in one of our first games and we got a wake-up call.
“But we’re looking forward to heading there.
“The Premier Division is a lot more organised than the Merit League was which we started off in.
“It has proper rugby lads and it’s faster and generally much better.
“It’s not a bad standard and it’s getting better all the time.”
Tempest-Mitchell says the club has come on leaps and bounds since its early days after inception.
He said: “We’ve gone from having myself in the side and going at around 10 miles an hour to having plenty of young, fast lads and going at about 70 miles an hour!
“We’re getting more interest all the time.
“A lot of the lads are from a rugby union background so they are going to make mistakes but we will get better.”
Despite the hype around the club, which last season lifted the Division One Championship, the co-chairman is quick to bring the whole club down to earth especially if players start getting too carried away.
“We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves,” said Tempest-Mitchell.
“Sometimes you can go too quickly, too soon.
“Last year was hard work so it’s all about managing expectations.”
Meanwhile, Richards says the club’s burgeoning new academy squad bodes well for the future.
The club are currently in the process of arranging fixtures and have been holding open trials for prospective new players.
He added: “We want to be attracting the best young lads in the area.
“We’ve already got some of the very best players from Ollerton, Mansfield and Ashfield.
“We recently signed one lad up who would walk straight into the first-team which shows how much talent is on our doorstep.”