Summer signing Rhys Hoenes believes Kettering Town are one of a number of teams who will feel they have a chance of winning the Evo-Stik South League Premier title next season.
The winger, who can also play in an attacking role, is one of the new faces to arrive at Latimer Park ahead of the new campaign as Marcus Law bids for a big improvement on last season’s ninth-placed finish.
Hoenes will be a familiar face to Poppies supporters having played against Kettering for the likes of Barton Rovers and, more recently, Biggleswade Town.
And the 25-year-old is now targeting a push for promotion as he revealed his move to Latimer Park was lined up soon after last season ended.
“I spoke to Marcus after I had finished with Biggleswade at the end of last season so things moved quite quickly to be honest,” Hoenes said.
“Kettering are still seen as a big non-League club. They have had their struggles in recent times but the club seems to be on the right path now and, having played against them in the past, I know they have good support who get behind the team.
“I am looking forward to it and you can see the players that have been brought in would be capable of going into any team in the division.
“They fell just short of the play-offs in the season before last and I know they were disappointed last time.
“Looking at the division, I think there are eight to 10 teams who will feel they are capable of winning the league and I believe we are one of them.”
The Poppies, who will start the new campaign with a trip to Slough Town on August 12, returned for pre-season training earlier than normal this summer and are now preparing for their first friendly at Vanarama National League North side Brackley Town next Tuesday night.
And Hoenes added: “Pre-season has been going well and we have been doing a lot more fitness work than I have been used to in the past!
“(Coach) John Ramshaw has really been putting us through our paces and we are just making sure we are physically ready a lot quicker than normal.”
There has been one departure from Latimer Park this week after midfielder Lewis Hornby, who made 30 appearances for the club, was released from his contract by mutual consent.
Kettering Town are holding their annual event for season ticket holders at Latimer Park on Saturday from 11.30am.
Fans who wish to renew their season tickets are invited to arrive from 10.30am.
The club will be providing several updates while also holding a question and answer session as well as revealing the new first-team strip.
Fans will then be invited to watch the first-team’s training session that will follow.