When Matthew Tipton walks out as Warrenpoint Town boss for the first time in senior football it will mark only his 39th week as a first-team manager.
That period has provided Tipton with trophy success in league and cup and a learning curve he is hoping can translate to Premiership level following consistent Championship progress.
A League Cup defeat to Ballymena United last November offered Tipton his competitive introduction to life in the hot seat. Despite that narrow reverse, Tipton can reflect on a number of senior scalps in his tenure as Warrenpoint manager but accepts now the target must be to transfer those sporadic shocks to a 38-game season of Premiership tests week in, week out.
Warrenpoint’s return to the main stage will start with home advantage against Glenavon - a side managed by another highly-rated former-forward-turned-boss in Gary Hamilton. Then Warrenpoint visit last season’s title runners-up in Crusaders before a game away to Ards.
“We were unbeaten in the league last season at home, with that Ballymena result our only home defeat in all competitions,” said Tipton. “So we have that proud home record and everyone is counting down until the start of the season.
“We want to use pre-season to get ready and I do not expect any grace period for adjustment back to the Premiership from outside the club - and I certainly will not be giving any to my players.
“The summer work is when you get things in place and, even as a player, I always felt any early points could be invaluable to your season.
“The aim, of course, is for us to catch a few teams by surprise early on and make that initial impact.”