IT’S been a busy summer for Simon Armstrong and the management team at Ilkley Town as they prepare for the new season.

The first team kick off their West Yorkshire League Premier Division campaign away to Huddersfield Amateurs.

The club have been actively recruiting new players and strengthening behind the scenes.

Sam Dexter returns to the club after a four year break with the Royal Horseguards.

He will combine playing with his duties as assistant manager for the first team.

On the playing side, Lee Spires and Danny Bott have moved on to Silsden and Burley Trojans respectively.

Coming the other way are new recruits Jordan Boxhall James, Tom Fleming, Nic Hewitt and the Bull brothers, Richard. Tom Smith and Gareth Pickup are returning to the club.

A number of the club’s younger players will add to competition for places including Blake Wood, Dan Gate and Tom Archer.

The new 3G pitch has been approved by the league for First Team and Reserve matches. This is sure to make the games faster and more attractive to the spectators.

Olly Musgrave has joined as reserve manager working with Peter Iliff.

The reserves are aiming to compete for a promotion spot. Their reputation for fair play was recognised by the league with a recent award of £250.

The reserves kick off their season with a home game against Salts on Monday evening on the 3G pitch, kick off 6.30pm. Spectators are welcome.

After a successful season in Division One last term, Ilkley’s under-21 squad will be stepping up a level for the forthcoming season.

The new floodlit 3G pitch opens the doorway for Ilkley to enter the Premier Division with home games to be played on Monday evenings under the lights at Ben Rhydding.

The quality of football will be high and the club see this as the next step in developing a talented group of young players, ultimately providing a platform for them to push into the first team squad.

The club are pleased to have been able to recruit Jeremy Zorilla to work alongside Anthony Hart and Iain McDonnell.

Club chairman, Richard Giles said: “We are excited now to be starting the season.

"As with all pre-seasons there is always some change that is needed and this was especially the case with Lee and Danny moving on.

"We are delighted to have retained the majority of the squad from last season as well as adding some fresh faces and seeing some of our younger players develop quickly.

"We are ambitious to continue to progress up through the football pyramid and have been building on and off the field for a number of years.

"We are a community club and I would encourage local people with an interest in football to come along and watch a game or two on the 3G pitch at Ben Rhydding.”