The preparations may only just be starting but for Kettering Town Paul White goalkeeper the target for the new season is crystal clear.
The Irish stopper, who wasted little time in moving to Northamptonshire after signing for the Poppies in September, put pen to paper on a contract with the club soon after last season had ended.
Aside from a spell on the sidelines due to an ankle injury, former Forest Green Rovers goalkeeper White made the number one shirt at Latimer Park his own.
Overall, the last campaign was ultimately a disappointing one for Kettering as their bid to be in the promotion shake-up fell short and eventually ended with a ninth-place finish in the Evo-Stik South League Premier.
And with pre-season now back under way and new signings arriving as Marcus Law looks to strengthen his ranks, White insists the players already have their goal for the new campaign.
“It’s good to be back,” the 22-year-old said.
“The break serves its purpose after a tough nine or 10 months of football but it’s nice to be back in for pre-season.
“All the boys have been around the place so we have all met each other but the spine of last season’s squad is still there and some quality has already been added to it.
“It already seems to be a better squad and I am sure other areas will be strengthened.
“The atmosphere is good and we realise that we underachieved with the goal that was set for us for last season.
“Kettering are a big club at this level and we should be up there challenging and everyone seems to have the mindset that being up there is the only goal for us for the new season.”
For that to happen, certain aspects need to be addressed – most notably the Poppies’ form at Latimer Park which proved to be their undoing last time out.
Kettering picked up just 34 points from a possible 69 on their own patch while, more worryingly, they had to wait over two months for their first home league win of the season.
“At the end of last season we sat down and dissected things as a whole and we really looked at the start of the season and the home form around that time,” White added.
“That was the problem and I don’t know the exact facts and figures but our form after Christmas must have been close to being at least play-off form.
“So we know where it went wrong and that is what we have to fix this time.
“And that particularly goes for the home form, we have to make Latimer Park a place that other teams don’t enjoy visiting.”