ROYAL Wootton Bassett Town manager Sam Collier is happy to start his side’s new year fixtures in the Hellenic League Premier Division with a selection headache.

Collier has a healthy 18-man squad to pick from for Saturday’s trip to Ardley United, a stark contrast to the threadbare numbers he had available for the concluding games of 2018.

Bassett will return to action refreshed as they face their first game since December 29, and boss Collier says the extended break has been the ideal tonic.

“We’ve had a longer rest than most clubs, but the schedule we had over Christmas was pretty relentless,” said Collier.

“In the last couple of games before the turn of the year, we had the bare 11 players. I was without nine or 10 regulars due to holidays, injuries or suspension.

“We’ve got six or seven of them back in and refreshed and I have got 18 players to pick from this weekend.

“I haven’t had a selection headache in this sense for while, so it’s nice.

“It must be January as everyone wants to get out and run around.”

Bassett travel to an Ardley side who have struggled so far this season, sitting fourth from bottom in the table with 23 points from 22 games.

However, Collier’s side were only narrow 2-1 winners in the reverse fixture back in November, so the Bassett boss is not expecting a straight-forward afternoon.

Collier said: “I think Ardley had probably 70 per cent of the possession when they came to our place earlier in the season.

“They have got some good players and they pass the ball around very nicely – they just didn’t cause us too many problems at the back.

“It will be a tough game, as they all are, and we will give them our full respect.”

As for Bassett, they are currently sixth in the table, although no team has played more than their 26 league fixtures.

“I have had a chat with the chairman and I know what I would like to achieve in the second half of the season,” said Collier.

“We have played quite a few games more than a lot of other teams, so if we could finish in the top 10, that would be great.

“Any higher would be fantastic considering we were one of the favourites to go down at the start of the season.”

Bassett are the only local side with a league fixture this weekend, with all other clubs in Supplementary Cup action.

Fairford Town are at home to Penn & Tylers Green, Malmesbury Victoria host North Leigh United, while New College entertain Langley.

Shrivenham have no fixture this weekend.