GREAT Harwood's relegation to NWCL Division Two was confirmed at the weekend - but it has been tempered slightly by the news they will face FC United of Manchester next season.
The new club - started by disillusioned Manchester United fans upset at Malcolm Glazer's takeover - has been accepted into the North West Counties League and will play at Droylsden FC, subject to approval from the council.
It's thought the club, managed by former Macclesfield and Rotherham player Karl Marginson, could attract crowds of more than 2,000.
"I think it is great for the league," said Harwood boss John Hughes.
"We will be playing on Accrington Stanley next season and will be able to get a decent crowd for that game. We are definitely hoping it will be one of the early fixtures.
"It is a test for everyone and if they bring the crowds it is a good thing.
"Bill (Holden, the Harwood chairman) is already rubbing his hands!"
Hughes is disappointed his side's relegation was sealed at a meeting of the NWCL after they finished bottom last season but had hoped for a late reprieve.
It never came but the addition of FC United has meant there is a buzz around the ground.
"They will be good games. They will have the same aim as us - to get promoted."
Hughes has started building for next season and has re-signed a number of players but managerless UniBond side Clitheroe are interested in their former player, Hughes, and may try and tempt him away from the Robins.
"They have been in touch but if Bill can assure me we will be back at the Showground next season and are building for the future then I am keen to stay here," said Hughes.
The Showground was destroyed by an arson attack last season and Harwood are ground-sharing with Stanley this season while they try and sort out their future.
"I left Great Harwood to go to Chorley around this time last year and unfortunately it didn't work out so we will just have to see what happens," added Hughes.