Brett Solkhon believes Kettering Town are capable of “doing something special” this season.
The Poppies legend and his team-mates are currently preparing for Saturday’s FA Cup second qualifying round clash with old rivals AFC Telford United at Latimer Park.
They will head into that on the back of a run of five wins from the last six matches, including the 2-1 success over Corby Town in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup on Tuesday night.
Solkhon’s own campaign has been a bit stop-start for various reasons.
He got married over the summer and missed a couple of matches while being on his honeymoon.
And was then hampered by a Football Association charge for alleged breaches of betting rules hanging over both him and Elliot Sandy at the start of the season.
The two players were eventually fined for those breaches.
But Solkhon insists his full focus is now on football and he believes the Poppies’ young squad is capable of moving up the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.
“It has been a busy year for me personally because I have got married and then I had the FA charge hanging over me,” Solkhon said.
“It meant the season was a bit stop-start to begin with.
“I was always confident over the FA charge and I was glad common sense prevailed in the end.
“But it did play on our minds because there was a lot of talk about what might happen to us.
“I am now able to concentrate on football and being part of what is becoming an increasingly settled team.
“If you look at it now, I think there is a very good spine in our side and we have a lot of young players who are bringing some extra flair to it.
“I still think we are capable of doing something special this season and I see no reason why we can’t push on and try to get close to those play-off places.”
For the time being, Solkhon is looking forward to renewing a rivalry with Telford on Saturday.
He was part of the Poppies squad that beat Telford to the Conference North title back in 2008 with the championship being clinched by a 3-0 victory over their nearest rivals at Rockingham Road.
Solkhon is certain this weekend’s cup clash with have “an edge” to it as the Poppies eye a potential upset with Telford currently sitting bottom of the Vanarama National League North.
“Whenever we have played them in the past the games have always had an edge to them,” he added.
“Both teams are really well supported and I am sure it will be a big crowd.
“There are good memories from my point of view and the day we beat them 3-0 to get promoted in 2008 is the one that stands out.
“It’s another massive game this weekend and it’s one the club and fans are rightly excited about.”