Kettering Town report back for pre-season training this weekend with boss Marcus Law keen to re-create the good feeling towards the end of the last campaign.
Nine weeks will have passed since the Poppies’ 4-1 win at Dorchester Town on the last day of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division season, which saw them just miss out on a place in the play-offs after a fine run of form in the second half of the campaign.
Law is expecting the vast majority of last season’s group to be back for training at Latimer Park on Saturday.
The Poppies are expecting to confirm news of who has signed up during July once the player registrations for the Southern League open while new faces are also set to arrive.
And Law is keen to return on the right note following the encouraging end to the previous campaign.
“We are probably starting a bit earlier than most but it seems like a long time since our last game of the season,” the Poppies boss said.
“We want to get back at it and get the boys back together again.
“As a squad, we finished the season in pretty good shape and the dressing-room was a good place so we need to get that back straight away.
“It’s an ifs, buts and maybes time of year but we will get them back in and look forward to getting back to work.
“Obviously the majority of our players will be non-contract and we all know about the volatile world of football.
“Budgets are put in place and then some are changed even before the season starts and you have some people making promises they can’t keep.
“We’re fortunate here because the budget won’t change. It is what it is for where the club is and where it wants to go in the future.
“And it means that what we offer now is what we can afford throughout the season.
“There will be plenty of transfer action I’m sure but we want to get the majority of the group we had at the end of last season back together and then take it from there.”
One player who won’t be reporting back is midfielder Herve Pepe-N’Goma who signed for National League North club Boston United last week.
And Law admitted the offer of football at a higher level was the deciding factor in the former Corby Town man’s decision to depart.
“It was disappointing to lose Herve because we wanted to keep the same group together,” Law added.
“We felt we got him back on an even keel last season and he was a strong player for us.
“But, with everything I said and did to keep him, the one factor I couldn’t give him this season was a higher level and that was the only reason why he stepped over there.”
Former Poppies striker Dubi Ogbonna, meanwhile, has signed for Southern League rivals St Neots Town.
The frontman scored 41 goals for Kettering during a three-season stay at Latimer Park.