PEWSEY Vale boss Steve Wootton is looking forward to watching his first choice strike force of Barry Flippance and Craig Wall run rings around opposition defences next season after they both signed up again.

Wall missed long periods of the last campaign because of commitments to the army's football team, while there had been some talk that 21-goal Flippance could have been heading for pastures new in the summer.

However, Flippance has confirmed he is staying with Vale and Wall has now left the Army, which means he will be available for selection throughout the season.

Last season was frustrating for Wootton because Wall went missing for weeks at a time due to Army exercises.

Wootton said claim,ed he was never worried about Flippance leaving, despite rumours linking the striker with Devizes Town.

He said: "I can tell you now that I had no doubts over whether Barry would be staying with us this season.

"He's a Pewsey lad and still lives right behind the ground.

"He would rather have packed up football than go anywhere else."

He added: "It is obviously a boost to have him in the team because he scores goals for fun and has done throughout his career.

"Now we have Craig Wall back permanently we should have a good forward line for next season.

"Craig found it difficult to make mid-week games last year and missed the first two months of the season, but he still scored 14 goals."

Pewsey are due open their pre-season friendly campaign against Selectabook at Devizes Town FC tonight, and then face a double-header at home to Kent-based Cray Wanderers this weekend, before entertaining Bemerton on Wednesday.

They are scheduled to travel to Shrewton next Friday before entertaining Marlborough on August 5 and Calne Town on August 12.

Wootton admitted it would still take a few weeks to get his final squad together.

"Like all teams we have a lot of trialists in and we will have to take a look at them in our pre-season friendlies," he added.

Defender Adam Stevens is set to return from a lengthy period out injured and the manager is hoping for big things from 20-year-old midfielder Tom Ritchie, who broke into the side at the end of last season.

He is confident of signing in a new goalkeeper, right-back and left-back in the next fortnight and has signed former defender Brian Blake who left the club three years ago.

Looking ahead to the start of the Hellenic League Premier Division season, Vale are in for a daunting start.

The Recreation Ground club kick-off with Didcot Town away on August 16 before they entertaining Slimbridge three days later.

They then play Bicester Town at home on August 23 before travelling to last year's champions North Leigh on August 25.

Wootton said the fixtures have not been kind to his team.

"It's not going to be an easy start because Didcot were in the top six last season and I know Slimbridge have a lot of money behind them and will be a strong side.

"We should look to beat Bicester at home because they were down near the bottom with us last season, but if we manage to get a point away to North Leigh then I will be very happy."

He added: "Basically I will be looking to get wins in our opening homes matches and anything we pick up away will be a bonus.

"Last season was very disappointing so we really have to be aiming at finishing in at least mid-table this season."