Kettering Town kick-off their pre-season friendly programme when they head to Hayden Road to take on Rushden & Higham United tonight (Thursday, 7.45pm).
And boss Marcus Law insists the early stages of the build-up to the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division campaign will be “assessment-based” for him.
The Poppies remain in the process of building their squad for the new campaign after Jevani Brown, Dom Langdon and Saul Williams became their first summer recruits last week.
Six of last season’s Division One Central title-winning squad were also retained while Dubi Ogbonna and Reubus Richard-Noel are under contract.
Kettering’s opening friendly this evening is followed by a home clash with Bashley on Saturday before Luton Town come to Latimer Park next Tuesday.
And Law says he will be running the rule over trialists and some of the club’s under-21 players as the countdown to the new season begins.
“We have had a couple of weeks on the training ground and it will be good to get into a match situation and see where the boys are,” the Poppies boss said.
“There has been many a player that shines in training but then doesn’t in a match and vice-versa so it will be interesting from that point of view.
“There are a few of the under-21s that I want to look at to see where they are and there are one or two trialists who I am keen to make a decision on going into the weekend.
“Tonight and possibly Saturday will be more assessment based for me rather than focusing on the tactics and strategies and, to a certain extent, the results as well.
“Pre-season is always difficult to assess because some teams may be further ahead than others depending on when they started.
“But we are looking forward to go over there to play Rushden & Higham and we will show them 100 per cent respect.”
Visit this website later today for details on Kettering Town’s fixtures for next season and read more Poppies news in this week’s Northamptonshire Telegraph