CHRISTCHURCH boss Ollie Cherrett is tonight hoping to end his barren run of opening-day fixtures without a win.

Priory open their Sydenhams Wessex One season with a trip to Weymouth reserves (7.45pm), with Cherrett keen to break his personal hoodoo with victory at the first time of asking.

He told the Daily Echo: “The priority is to get off to a good start.

“I’m not going to lie, I’ve never won a first game of the season, either as a player or manager.

“It’s taken 16 years of men’s football so the law of averages says it’s got to change one day!”

Having just missed out on a promotion spot last season with a fourth-place finish, Cherrett wants his side to avoid playing catch-up this time round in their mission to return to the Wessex Premier.

“I am sure all 19 teams want to win the league and get promoted. We are no different to that,” he said. “We will take it one step at a time and our first step will be on Wednesday night.

“We have got a very tough start but it’s important we pick up as many points as possible in the first month so we are not chasing later in the season.

“We have had a good pre-season, a tough one but a good one. We are happy with the squad we have got and are very much looking forward to the weeks ahead.”

New recruits Jon Blake and Kieran Douglas are expected to be involved but former Wimborne Town striker Luke Stone is doubtful with a neck injury.

Priory host AFC Portchester in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Cherrett confirmed the appointment of former Cherries assistant boss Shaun Brooks as first-team coach at MA Hart Stadium.

Elsewhere, Poole Town concluded their pre-season schedule with a 1-1 draw at Merley Cobham Sports on Monday.

Dolphins fielded a side mainly comprising youngsters and teenage striker Ollie Balmer found the net for the visitors.

Asked about Balmer, who recently signed a 12-month deal, Killick told the Daily Echo: “He has done well and has been a bright spot during pre-season.

“We are looking forward to seeing how he does once the real matches start.”

Poole’s first competitive fixture is on Saturday when they make the trip to Weston-super-Mare in National South (3pm).