THE New Saints will once again start the JD Cymru Premier as overwhelming favourites for the title.

The Oswestry club won the title at a canter last season despite improved showings from Connahs Quay Nomads and Barry Town United.

The Saints’ extended European adventure sees the club head into the campaign attacking on all fronts.

Should the Saints crash out of the Europa League against Lodogorets of Bulgaria next week it would still mean a lucrative pay day for the club in prize money.

Manager Scott Ruscoe has spoken of the budget difference his side face compared to their European opposition with Copenhagen, who knocked the Saints out of the UEFA Champions League, boasting a budget 75 times bigger than the New Saints.

However the Saints budget remains the largest in Welsh domestic football and as such the expectation to dominate the silverware.

The Saints have retained much of last season’s squad with the exception of Tom Holland with the former Swansea City youngster taking the surprise step to join Irish club Waterford.

Meanwhile Jack Bodenham has returned to English Championship side Cardiff City following the end of his loan spell.

Ruscoe has strengthened his defensive options with the arrival of three new players.

Keston Davies arrives from Swansea City while ex-Tranmer Rovers defender Adam Hughes lands from Marine.

Ryan Harrington also joins the Saints from Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen.

The Saints have promoted several prospect from their successful academy but the first team will rely mostly on the tried and trusted next season.

Goalkeeper Paul Harrison remains the face of TNS while striker Greg Draper will once again be a contender for the Golden Boot.

Midfielder Aeron Edwards continues to run the Saints midfield alongside Jon Routledge with wingers Ryan Brobbel and Adrian Cieslewicz among the most feared wide men in the country.

Jamie Mullan is regarded as the quickest player in the league while Danny Redmond has provided versatility since his arrival from Hamilton Academicals last season.

Meanwhile the club faces a wait for their start to the season with their scheduled Nathaniel Cup clash cancelled with Bangor City embroiled in a three month legal saga with the Football Association of Wales.