TOP-FLIGHT champions Pheasant will be missing in action when the new Shoestrings Chargrill-sponsored Chippenham Sunday League season gets under way this weekend.

Pheasant announced their shock withdrawal from the league due to a lack of players and the loss of their manager earlier this month.

With Pheasant gone, last season’s Premier Division runners-up Lacock, who open their campaign at home to FC North Wiltshire, will fancy their chances of finishing top of the pile this time around.

Newly-promoted Bromham will hope that they can give a good account of themselves in the top flight after convincingly winning Division One and open the season away at Westbury Rangers.

AFC Melksham have a trip to Worton & Cheverell, who are more than capable of success despite being in Division Two last term.

Faded have lost a few key players in the close season, including last season’s player of the season and golden boot winner Zack Manna, and entertain Bath Road.

Lion & Fiddle, who were only denied top spot in Division Two on goal difference last season, will be favourites to win Division One.

The Trowbridge-based side travel to North Star Club for their opener.

New Inn Wacker entertain Biddestone, Kingfisher are at Sporting Box, and FC Libby visit Sutton Benger.

The match of the day in the second tier is possibile the game at Bowerhill where The Foresters Arms welcome relegated The Bell FC (formerly Bell By The Green).

Both sides are under new management, with Leigh Rowles-Hitchcock in charge of the hosts and Adam Bewley at the helm at The Bell.

Westbury Railway and Old Road, who share the pitch at the Beeches in Shaw, have been paired together.

With eight new clubs joining the league this season, it makes for what promises to be a thrilling battle for the promotion places in Division Two.

One of the sides expected to be vying for top spot are Lavis. They begin their campaign at home to London Road Inn, who were playing as White Hart last term.

Fellow newcomers Bremhill View and Spartak Rudloe lock horns at Beversbrook, while another two new sides, Chippenham Icons and FC Trowbridge, square up at Leafy Lane.

Steeple Ashton will be hoping that a change of name from Gloucester Conservative will bring a change in fortunes for their second season in the league. They visit FC Devizes United, who are another club set for their league debut.

Chippenham-based Misfits host new side Royal Oak, although the majority of their players were with FC North Wiltshire last term.

The final game sees Wednesday Warriors, who failed to win a league match last season, entertain relegated Pack Horse (formerly Brunel).