Athlone Town are not shirking any challenges as they prepare for the new season, as they prepare to take on two Premier Division sides this weekend.
Town travel to the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night to take on Bray Wanderers (Kick-off 7:45pm).
Then on Sunday afternoon, newly-promoted Dublin City are the visitors to Saint Mel's Park. Kick-off on this occasion is at 2:30pm.
“Results always matter, you always want to win games,” Town boss Michael O'Connor told athlonetownfc.com. “But I keep saying this - we pitted ourselves against the Premier Division opposition to test ourselves.
“So far it's been going along nicely, and I think that, without getting carried away, we'll be well organised and we're very fit.
O'Connor was in defiant mood when it was suggested that Town face a tough opening few weeks to the league.
“Yeah it is a tough start,” he said, “Finn Harps, Shamrock Rovers, Cobh Ramblers.
“But it's a tough start for them. We're okay with it.”