AFTER losing out on the JD Cymru Premier crown to Connah’s Quay Nomads again last season, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out what The New Saints’ target for 2021-22 will be.

Not since 2000, when Saints won their first top-flight title as Total Network Solutions, have the Park Hall outfit gone longer than two campaigns without lifting the trophy.

The man charged with bringing the championship back to Oswestry, Australian manager Anthony Limbrick, has the responsibility of trying to guide the 13-time champions back to the summit.

Having joined in early April as successor to Scott Ruscoe, former Grimsby Town boss Limbrick won nine of his first 10 matches in charge, but it wasn’t enough to oust Nomads in the title race.

A trip to the Czech Republic in the Europa Conference League on Thursday means Limbrick’s charges won’t start their league campaign until Sunday when they go to Newtown (2.30pm).

“We’ve been concentrating on Europe but we’re looking forward to the start of the league season,” said Limbrick.

“We need to win that title back. We haven’t won it for the last two seasons so it’s really important we start well.

“We know it’s going to be hard but winning the league is our number one goal, the players and staff all know that.”

He added: “The Nomads have won the league for the past two seasons and deservedly so.

“Andy Morrison has got a good, physical side who caused us a lot of problems last season.

“I really enjoyed the games against Connah’s Quay, they were really hard fought.

“It’s a good rivalry between us and the Nomads, and we want to come out on top this season.”

With the busy run-in to the end of last season, changes to the playing squad and a profitable European campaign, it has been almost non-stop for Limbrick since his appointment.

“It has been hectic since the end of last season,” he said. “We only had two weeks off before we were back into it and getting ready for Europe.

"It’s been good to have time to work with the players.

"These last six weeks have been beneficial to get my philosophy across and work with the staff.

“We had 10 games in a very short period when I came in so it’s been nice to get on the training pitch and have time to get to know each other.

“They are great people. We’ve still got Simon Spender helping with the first-team and coaching the U19s.

"He’s a great character to have around the place, and his experience of playing in Europe has been beneficial to us.

“Greg Draper is another top guy who really supported me when I came in, and I’m glad to have kept him around the club as well.

“The new signings have hit the ground running and bringing in people with the right characters was the most important thing.”

Despite losing the services of several club stalwarts, new arrivals like striker Declan McManus, who netted a hat-trick in the first leg against Viktoria Plzen, have already shown what they are capable of.

Looking ahead to the Newtown clash, Limbrick added: “We need to be more clinical in front of goal, you could see that last season.

“We need to score earlier in games and when we’re on top, and I think we’ve addressed that in the forward areas with the guys we’ve signed.

“Newtown have added some good players as well and they’ve got a lot of quality in their squad.

“I spoke to Chris Hughes (manager) a couple of times before the European games and I think they will do better this season.

“I didn’t get to face them when I came in but I know they play football the right way.

“The first game can be a dangerous one and Newtown will be looking to come at us.”