RHYL showed all the capabilities needed to launch a JD Cymru North title challenge during their opening day win at Flint Town United.

The Lilywhites have gone under the radar during the summer compared to other teams within the second tier thanks to the high-profile signings of Prestatyn Town, the return of Colwyn Bay to the Welsh domestic system and the off-the-field saga surrounding Bangor City.

They have really strengthened in the right areas and made their intentions clear from the off against a side that is expected to be challenging in the upper echelons of the table.

As coach Richard Williams-Cooke pointed out in his post-match interview, this is a game that they may have lost last season but the team spirit, work ethic and desire to succeed to come from a goal down to claim three points is a benchmark they can now aspire to for the remainder of the campaign.

It is, of course, just one game, but this Rhyl side looks to have far more about it than the one that flattered to deceive for long periods last term.

They have plenty of strength-in-depth and an energetic presence at in Steve Thomas, who is a player the management team have coveted for a long time and judging by his opening day contribution it is not hard to see why.

He represents a significant upgrade at the position and seems to have a gift of inspiring others around him to raise their game, characteristics that will ensure he fits in very well with Eddie Maurice-Jones’ ethos going forward.

The return to full fitness of Dave McIntyre is another massive asset for the Lilies’ to call upon, with the playmaker able to dictate proceedings from the middle of the park in an accomplished manner that is going to benefit those around him tremendously in the coming months.

Even though they look to have lost Matthew Cook to injury there are plenty of other options within the squad to call upon, but his absence will put more emphasis on McIntyre to perform consistently in the middle of the park.

Asa Hamilton’s presence in the final third of the pitch already looks to be another astute signing from Maurice-Jones, with the striker no stranger to success having clinched the Huws Gray Alliance title with Airbus Broughton last term.

With three very strong goalkeepers in Keighan Jones, Rory Crowther and Jonathan Hill-Dunt, a pacey forward line consisting of promising players such as Aaron Hassall, James Murphy and Sam Molyneux, a composed midfield featuring Leo Riley and Ben Burrows, together with a resolute rear-guard of Max Peate, Reece Fairhurst, Cai Owen and Danny Sullivan, there in nowhere on the field that can now be considered a weak point for Rhyl.

The improved overall quality of the squad is going to be a welcome headache for the management team, who can switch styles and formations to suit given the strength at their disposal.

Friday’s home opener against Llangefni Town is going to be a completely different contest and one where the Lilies’ will have to patient, take advantage of their openings and be ruthless when presented with opportunities.

Chris Roberts’ side are a stout defensive outfit who come into the game with a great deal of confidence following their win over Gresford Athletic, but these are encounters that Rhyl must win comfortably to lay the foundations for a possible return to JD Cymru Premier next season.

There is a long way to go, but the early signs could not be more positive.