NEILSTON co-manager Martin Campbell want his side to put down a marker for the season when they kick-off their Sectional League Cup campaign at Benburb tonight.

The Farmer’s Boys travel to New Tinto Park in the first competitive game of the campaign and Campbell insists meeting a league rival in the cup gives the game an extra edge.

With Premier League sides Arthurlie and Pollok lurking in a difficult section for Neilston, Campbell is relishing a thorough examination of his squad early in the season.

He said: “Benburb are in our league so we want to put a marker down against them. The Pollok and Arthurlie games, I just enjoy them, I hope the players enjoy them.

“That’s where our club aspires to get to, you want to be playing these teams all the time.

“We’ll try to find the balance because it’s early in the season and we want to make sure we’re in the best shape for the league campaign starting, the best way to do that would be to get results in the Sectional.”

Despite a comfortable mid-table finish in the Central District First Division last season, Neilston have been priced among the outsiders to win the league this term by bookmakers.

Campbell was perplexed at McBookie’s odds of 25/1 for Neilston to bring the trophy back to Brig O’Lea. But he thinks it will serve as extra motivation for his squad to prove those not giving them a hope of being among the promotion contenders wrong.

He said: “I don’t know where they get that from.

“I’m not a gambling man but I heard some of the boys talking about it. To have us down with the outsiders in the league, I don’t know where they are getting that.

“I think it might give us a wee spur to try and prove people wrong.”