Thornton said: “We’ve been very encouraged by what we’ve seen in pre-season. We took Sheffield very close, had a good win against York Select and beat Gateshead, so I’m delighted with the way our pre-season has gone.
“We’ve worked really hard and that delayed start has prolonged pre-season to the point where we can’t wait to get going.”
He added: “We are excited about it this year. We realise what the pathway is to the next level and that’s important.
“We don’t know much about the teams we’re going to be playing against, but we’ll make sure we’re ready and we can’t wait to get started”.