Local lad Charlie De’Ath has spoken of his pride at being handed the captain’s armband for St Ives Town’s latest adventure.

The Saints will play in the Southern League Premier Division for the first time after roaring to a second promotion in the last four seasons.

Defender De’Ath has got the nod from boss Ricky Marheineke and number two Jack Cassidy to succeed the departed Luke Knight as skipper. It is a role he is relishing as they bid to establish themselves at Step 3 following a rise that came as a bit of a surprise last term.

“It is a big honour to be given the opportunity to captain the club for their first-ever season at Step 3,” said De’Ath.

“I was captain in my second year as a scholar at Northampton, but it is the first time I’ve done the job in senior football.

“There is a lot more to it than just shaking hands and calling heads or tails before kick-off. As captain you have to make sure everyone is playing their own part in the game and lead by example when the chips are down.

“It is also important to ensure we maintain the brilliant team spirit that was a huge factor in us winning promotion last season.

“The excitement of going up in the way we did, by winning the play-off final in front of such a big crowd at Westwood Road, has carried over into this season.

“I don’t think anyone really expected us to be promoted, but we had some good players who had enjoyed success at Step 4 before and it all came together.

“Ricky and Jack know the way they want to play and they mapped out the season superbly. We were very true to ourselves and that will be the case again this season with the new players picking up the ethos quickly. “

St Ives face a hectic start to the season with seven matches in August, starting with the visit of Stratford Town to ProEdge Westwood Road tomorrow.

That is one of four early-season games against teams who finished in the bottom half of the table last season while another pits them against a Cinderford side who initially tried to decline promotion to this level.

One man who won’t feature in the opening few weeks of the season is Jared Cunniff. The midfielder is in Australia until the end of September.