Nelson enjoyed a successful Lancashire League campaign last year, finishing fourth.
And despite losing some important players, skipper Neil Thompson believes the Seedhill side can remain competitive in the league’s 125th year.
Nelson have seen Toxy Hussain depart for Lowerhouse, while Sam Halstead and Harrison Phelan have joined league newcomers Clitheroe.
The club have no new faces, but have engaged South African Devon Conway as professional for the season.
Speaking to lancashireleague.com, Thompson said: “In regards to ourselves, we are all looking forward to the new challenges that lie ahead this year.
“Even though we have lost a few key personnel, we still feel as though there is enough quality in the squad for us to remain competitive each week.
“There will be plenty of opportunities for the youngsters who have been playing well in the seconds in the previous seasons to come in and have a good go.”
Thompson expects the usual suspects to challenge for the league title, while he feels there could be a couple of dark horses as well: “My tips for the league and cup are Lowerhouse, Haslingden and Burnley, however new boys Clitheroe and Darwen may be surprise packages.”
Nelson have a bye on Sunday, but start their campaign next Sunday at home to Rawtenstall.