MARK Bower’s first full season in charge got underway on Thursday when Guiseley played their first pre-season friendly.

The Lions beat Albion Sports 2-0 at Throstle Nest with second-half goals from Wayne Brooksby and Adam Boyes.

There were two different sides fielded for each half, including a number of trialists – Jack Stockdill, Ibe Vermeulen and Grant Roberts among them.

Bower felt the game was vital ahead of three big friendly fixtures against neighbouring Football League clubs.

The Lions boss said: “We play Bradford City (today), Leeds United next Saturday and then Huddersfield Town the following Monday.

"I’m sure they will play mixed teams but it is good from a football and financial point of view.

“They are all well supported and they will bring a few with them, even for the midweek one. Putting bums on seats and bringing some cash in through the turnstiles makes a big difference to a club at our level.”

Bower is not just thinking about the money though. He knows the full-time players at the professional clubs, even the younger ones, will provide a tough test for his squad.

Having spent virtually all of his playing career in the Football League, the former Bantams skipper is well versed in how they operate and hopes he can use that to the advantage of Guiseley.

He said: “The three clubs will send strong sides and they are all local clubs. The pro clubs usually mix things up and play some lads that they are willing to send out on loan to gain experience and regular first-team football.

“There will be scouts from other clubs looking at them but we will have an eye on them as well. We would certainly be interested in some loan signings if the players were right for us.

“With these three clubs all being local, it would be ideal for them to loan their players out in the area so that they can still be involved with all the training. If that means we were to pick a couple up, then I’d be happy with that.”