Sutton United hope to spoil the party when they kick-off the Vanarama National League season at newly-promoted Harrogate Town tomorrow (Saturday).

The North Yorkshire side will be looking to make an instant impact after clinching a spot in the fifth tier of English football for the first time in May.

Under the stewardship of former Lincoln City defender Simon Weaver, Harrogate have been banging on the National League door in recent seasons and finally broke through after finishing runners-up to Salford City then beating Chorley and Brackley Town in the play-offs.

Weaver has added highly-rated Brackley marksman Aaron Williams to his arsenal over the summer.

The striker was on target for the Northamptonshire side as they dumped Sutton out of the FA Trophy back in February and Weaver will be hoping for a similar impact from the 24-year-old on Saturday. But Sutton will have other ideas.

Having impressed last term with a third place finish — the highest position in the club’s 120-year history — manager Paul Doswell and his coaching staff will want to make this another memorable season at the Knights Community Stadium.

The United boss has recruited well over the summer, adding strength to his defence by bringing in former Forest Green Rovers trio Dale Bennett, Charlie Clough and Dan Wishart.

Midfielder Wayne Brown arrived this week from Australian side Newcastle Jets, while strikers Jonah Ayunga (Brighton) and Aaron Drinan (Ipswich) have also joined the U's. 

”Wayne’s from the area and has family in Sutton, and is coming in on a very small wage for the first season," Doswell told the club's website.

"He’s a top player who we tried to sign when he was with Bristol Rovers, and will add quality to an already good midfield once his international clearance comes through.

"With Aaron having joined on loan from Ipswich for not a lot, it’s got us exactly where we want to be for the start of the season.”

United announced this week that Simon Downer and Craig Dundas have been released as Doswell looks to give younger players their opportunity.

Downer and Dundas made nearly 780 appearances for the club between them and were the bedrock to Sutton's success under Doswell as the U's rose from the Ryman Premier League to the brink of the Football League.

”Simon struggled with his ankle last season," revealed Doswell. "He was restricted to about twenty games, and had another ankle operation in May.

"We had a long chat at the end of last season and agreed that we’d see if he could get himself fit in pre-season, but he is still in pain and so, with regret, we’ve agreed to let him go.

"Simon’s been with me almost since the first days here, and he’s been a fantastic player for the club."

"Craig is going to stay with us in the week as fitness coach but he wants to play regularly and Hampton have made an approach so he’ll play games for them.

"I want to emphasise that he’s not leaving and there’ll be a role for him here for as long as I’m at the club.

"It’s right that we try and give the younger players like Josh Taylor, Jonah Ayunga and Tommy Wright as much game time as we can, though.”

Pre-season is never a reliable barometer as to how well a team will fare over the course of a season, but the U’s will take encouragement from victories over Coventry City, Dorking Wanderers and Norwich City U23s in their five matches so far.

Josh Taylor continued to impress for the U’s, netting the only goal of the game against Norwich last Saturday.

Another pleasing aspect for Doswell has been the performances of his new-look defence which has recorded four clean sheets in five matches.

The Sutton boss has already stated his priorities for the new season with another high league finish and runs in the FA Cup and Trophy the main objectives. United will also be appearing in the Irn-Bru Cup for the first time.

It promises to be another intriguing season with the U's once again locking horns with former EFL clubs Leyton Orient, Wrexham and Hartlepool as well as new-boys Barnet, Chesterfield and big spending Salford.

Backed by a group of former Manchester United players and billionaire Peter Lim, Salford are the bookies favourites for the league title having made a host of impressive signings including Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney who is reportedly on £5,000 a week.

And with other clubs also splashing the cash, Doswell knows his team will face a tough task repeating last season's success.

"I think the league will be stronger this year, when you see some of the financial figures flying around," said the Sutton boss.

"Our budget puts us about mid-table so if we can finish above that then it will be a success, but we know we’re in a fantastic league.

"I’m certainly not jealous, because on our day we know we can be as good as anyone in the league.”

United play their first home game of the season on Tuesday (August 7) against Eastleigh at 7.45pm and then host Salford City on Saturday (August 11, 3pm).