Selston return to prepare for their first ever season at step five level football this week with ambitious boss Craig Weston vowing they are not there just to make up the numbers.
After a fourth title in six years and a third promotion, they return for training today (Thursday) – and face an immediate mission on Saturday to try to raise funds for a new club mini-bus to help with the increased travelling at the new level.
“We start back this Thursday and everything is looking good,” said Weston.
“We are very excited about the new level. It’s a big step up in the travelling but I think we will cope with that.
“I think we have enough, with a few additions, to give it a really good go.
“We don’t want to be making the numbers up. We want to be up at the top end competing.
“The club does have momentum and long may it continue.
“We will prepare like we always do for any league and try to get the players as sharp and switched on you can and see how it goes.”
He added: “You never know. The level of football is better so we are going to have to be up to speed and at our best every week to compete. But I think we’re capable of that.
“The lads have done themselves proud up to now so they definitely deserve a crack at a better level of football.
“It will be a good test for us. There are a couple of my old clubs in there as well - Gresley Rovers and Long Eaton United - so that’s a nice treat for me to go back to those clubs.”
Weston is not expecting to have lost any of last season’s squad that won the East Midlands Counties title and is in talks with players who have experience at the higher level to bolster the squad.
“We have spoken to three or four new potential additions to the squad which we can hopefully bring in,” he said.
“They are all experienced lads we have earmarked over the last season or so. We have managed to speak to them so we will see how it goes.
“At this time of year people don’t want to commit which we totally understand.
“Hopefully they will come in and fit in with what we are trying to build and carry on the momentum and keep moving up.”
“On the pitch we will be hitting the pre-season hard and trying to get everybody up to speed as soon as possible.”
He added: “Everyone is still here – I believe we have managed to keep hold of everybody though I don’t know for sure until they sign on the dotted line.
“We are hoping to keep everyone together and just add a few. I don’t think we need to make too many changes.
“But we will find out more when the season kicks off.
“We’ve got some good friendlies penned in against quality sides that we think will test us and get us prepared for what is to come.”
The first big test of his players will come on Saturday when they undertake a gruelling club fundraiser.
“We have our annual charity bike ride to Skegness on Saturday,” said Weston.
“That gets everyone together nice and early and is good for morale and team spirit.
“It’s 87 miles from Selston to Skegness and once you get there you can have a night out and talk about what’s to come.
“It’s a good team-builder for the players and the club and we’re looking forward to it.
“We are trying to raise funds for a 17-seater mini-bus to combat some of the longer away trips. That will be good for camaraderie as well.”