Altrincham have been handed the toughest of starts to the 2021-22 Vanarama National League campaign in every respect after landing an opening-day trip to Torquay United on Saturday, August 21st.
The Robins were always going to be on the road at the outset, with our newly-laid pitch needing time to bed in, and we are likely to be on it for some considerable time after today's release of next season's fixture list revealed the Devon coast as our destination on day one.
Not only will that entail a round trip of some 520 miles, but the opponents awaiting us reached the play-off final last season, before succumbing to Hartlepool United on penalties after the match finished 1-1 after extra-time, and will be keen to avenge the 2-1 defeat we inflicted on them five months ago.
At least our second fixture is a little nearer home, a relatively-short trip across the Pennines to take on FC Halifax Town at The Shay on Bank Holiday Monday, before Phil Parkinson's side finally set foot on the lush new turf at The J.Davidson Stadium against Dover Athletic on Saturday, September 4th.
What an occasion that should be, a perfect playing surface for Alty's renowned passing style and, hopefully, the shackles off in terms of admitting supporters back into the stadium in numbers.
We hit the Emirates FA Cup trail at the fourth qualifying round stage on Saturday, October 16th, where a handy £9,375 in prize money will be at stake, as well as a place among EFL clubs in the first round proper, while our Buildbase FA Trophy campaign kicks off on Saturday, December 18th.
Back to the National League, and both teams relegated from League Two will be heading our way in the first half of the season, with Grimsby visiting The J.Davidson on Tuesday, October 5th and Southend United on Saturday, November 27th.
There is a festive double-header with neighbours Stockport County, who make the short journey to The J.Davidson on Sunday, January 2nd after hosting the Robins on Boxing Day.
And Alty wrap up the campaign with a home fixture, just as they did last season. Yeovil Town were our last-but-two opponents last season and are our final ones this time on Sunday, May 15th.