Shaymen set for big kick-off on super Sunday

Lewis Killeen in action for Town against Cambridge in 2008
Lewis Killeen in action for Town against Cambridge in 2008

FC Halifax Town kick-off their Skrill Premier campaign in front of a national TV audience at Cambridge United on Sunday (12pm).

The Shaymen return to competitive action 91 days after their play-off final win over Brackley live on BT Sport.

But Town have been handed a difficult start on their return to the top of the non-league game as Cambridge have undergone nothing short of a revolution this summer.

Manager Richard Money has recruited nine new players this summer in an attempt to turn the U’s into promotion contenders after their 14th placed finish last term.

Only a vast improvement on that position is likely to be tolerated, with United finishing 21 points from the play-offs and nine above the drop zone last year.

Their most eye-catching signing is striker Adam Cunnington, who finished as the Conference Premier’s second-top scorer with 21 goals last season, despite his Tamworth team ending up in 19th.

Full-back Richard Tait has followed him to Cambridge from Tamworth, while

midfielder Tom Champion and defender Tom Bonner have both joined the club from Dartford after playing against Town last season in the FA Trophy.

Ryan Donaldson has also been signed from Gateshead, striker Delano Sam-Yorke has signed from Farnborough and Ian Miller has joined from Grimsby.

Left-back Greg Taylor has also been recruited from Luton, while goalkeeper Chris Maxwell has joined the club on loan from Fleetwood.

Meanwhile, former Town goalkeeper Jonathan Hedge was one of 15 departures from the club this summer, joining Grimsby.

Money, who led Walsall to the League Two title in 2007, rejected an offer to manage Indian club Jindal Vijayanagar Steel earlier this summer after taking charge at the Abbey Stadium in October 2012

Money is apparently not in short supply at the club, who are reported to have one of the highest budgets in the league and are rated at around 6/1 for promotion.

Cambridge won eight of their 11 pre-season friendlies, including beating Norwich 1-0.

They have been in the Conference for the last seven seasons, finishing as high as second in 2008 and 2009 ending in 17th in 2007 and 2011.

Town have lost just once in the last seven meetings between the sides, although that was the last time they met back in 2008.