NO Neymar, Lukaku or Rooney-esque transfer dealings to set tongues wagging in St Helens this summer but excitement is nonetheless building in the town as the new football season arrives.

A couple of Cheshire League sides are already up and running after midweek clashes, but for most clubs the big kick-off comes along this Saturday.

With pre-season fitness work and trial matches mostly out of the way, managers and players are setting about getting their camps off to the ‘perfect start’.

An update on St Helens Town's preparations for a return to the town are published HERE, while Prescot Cables have two games in four days to start their campaign in Evo-Stik North.

They host Ossett Town on Saturday, kick-off 3pm, and then visit Hyde United on Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm.

Billinge and St Helens Town Reserves both got going in Warrington last night, Tuesday, Billinge losing 2-1 at Eagle Sports in the Cheshire League Premier Division and Town crumbling 8-0 at Orford FC in League Two.

Both are playing a step higher than last term.

Billinge, promoted as champions from League One, will play their first home game on Saturday against Linotype-Cheadle HN at Billinge Community Football Stadium, Carr Mill Road, kick-off 3pm.

St Helens Town Reserves, who finished third in Reserve League Two last term, will have another away game at the weekend against Cuddington, also 3pm.

Their first home date is with Winstanley Warriors on Thursday, August 24.

Pilkington FC and FC St Helens have Cheshire League One games on Saturday and next Wednesday, kick-offs 3pm and 6.45pm respectively.

Widnes side Halebank will be the first to travel to Pilkington, who share the facilities with Town at Ruskin Drive.

They will head to promoted Windle Labour four days later.

The top two goal scorers in League One last season, Matthew Taylor, 51 strikes, and Graham Boylan, 24, are both registered with Pilks again as the team bids to improve on last season’s third-place finish.

FC St Helens, fifth in League One in 2016-17, head to relegated Styal FC in their opener on Saturday before hosting Garswood United next Wednesday.

Cheshire League Reserve Division action starts tomorrow, Thursday.

Billinge Reserves host Garswood United counterparts, FC St Helens’ second team entertain Golborne Sports Reserves while Pilkington’s second string head to Rylands in Warrington.

Then on Saturday Pilks welcome Styal Reserves, FC St Helens will have Orford Reserves as guests, and Billinge Reserves will make the journey to Linotype-Cheadle HN.

In the Cheshire Under 21s League, St Helens will kickstart their season at home to Rylands on Sunday, kick-off 3pm.

Newton-le-Willows will open at Rainhill Town in the North West Under 21s League Cup, but that will not be until Sunday, September 3, kick-off 1pm.

St Helens teams featuring in the Warrington and District League are looking forward to league action this Saturday too, with matches including Monk Sports Juniors v Thatto Heath, New Street v Grange Sports and Rainhill Town Y&D in the Premier Division along with Blackbrook v Rockware, Sankey Vale v New Street Y&D, and The Village Club v Beeches in Division One.