Nicky Eaden is determined to make Kettering Town as “competitive” as possible when they make their return to the Vanarama National League North next season.
It has been a hectic week at Latimer Park with a flurry of activity, which was triggered by news of Marcus Law’s resignation as manager despite leading the Poppies to the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central last season.
But Kettering moved quickly to replace Law with Eaden returning to the club after he enjoyed a successful playing and coaching stint with them during Mark Cooper’s reign between 2007 and 2009.
Eaden recently had spells in management at Nuneaton Borough and Hednesford Town but he has now been handed the task of leading the Poppies back into Step 2.
And he is hoping Kettering can do more than just survive when they move up to the next level.
“It’s a tough league but we have some good players already on board,” the new Poppies boss said.
“But I don’t want us to be going into it with the attitude of making sure we just survive. You want to go up and be competitive.
“And it’s now my job to make sure the lads are ready for what lies ahead.”
Kettering have also made a good start in putting their squad together for the new season with 11 members of the title-winning squad committing their future to the club along with academy products Jack O’Connor and Joe Massaro.
And midfielder Connor Kennedy was confirmed as the Poppies’ first new summer signing after he made the switch from Corby Town after an outstanding season for the Steelmen last time
“When you’ve just won a league, you always want to try to keep the majority of that squad together and I certainly have no problem with that,” Eaden added.
“That squad won the league quite comfortably and there is a lot to be said for having a group of lads who achieved something like that and had a togetherness about them.
“It’s important we try to carry that on into the new season.”