Setchell believes Steelmen are ‘stronger’ as they get ready for the opener

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Gary Setchell believes Corby Town will start this season with a stronger squad than the one that finished the last campaign as they gear up for the big kick-off in the Northern Premier League Midlands.

The Steelmen’s season starts where the last one finished with an away-day at Boldmere St Michaels while the first home game of the campaign comes next Wednesday when they entertain Shepshed Dynamo at Steel Park.

Corby rounded off last season with a 4-0 success at Boldmere but it wasn’t enough to secure a play-off place as they finished two points outside the top five.

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But, as he gears up for his first full season in charge, Setchell admits a top-five finish is the main aim for the new campaign.

Corby Town manager Gary Setchell is aiming high this season. Picture by Jim DarrahCorby Town manager Gary Setchell is aiming high this season. Picture by Jim Darrah
Corby Town manager Gary Setchell is aiming high this season. Picture by Jim Darrah

“What I would say is that I know we are a lot better than what we were last year,” the Corby manager said.

“If everyone else has raised the bar that high on us then there’s nothing I can do about it. All I know is that we are a lot better than last season.

“Obviously the aim is to get in the play-offs, I’m not going to shy away from that. I’d be really disappointed if we’re not in the play-offs.

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“But this is football. There’s a lot of things that can happen during the season.

“You’ve got to keep your best players fit, refereeing decisions could go against you in the big games and these things can all make a difference.

“If we progress as I feel we have and we can put another five or six points, at a minimum, on last season’s tally then I am pretty sure 70-odd points will get you in the play-offs.

“That’s the target but I think there are probably 10 teams who will be looking to get into that top five. And we are one of them.”

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The Steelmen are set to be without summer signings Danny Setchell, Joe Butterworth and fellow midfielder Matty Slinn for the curtain-raiser.

But Setchell feels his squad are well prepared for the new season, which starts with a big week including an Emirates FA Cup preliminary round home clash with Lowestoft Town next Saturday (August 19).

“We are ready,” Setchell added.

“We have had plenty of friendlies and, apart from the two or three injured lads, everyone should be ready to go.

“I think there is always a bit of apprehension with the first game.

“You want to get off to a good start and get off the mark.

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“We have the first game away, then one at home in midweek and then the FA Cup.

“If you have a bad start, you could find yourself out of the FA Cup and languishing in the league whereas a good start could make all the difference.

“It’s a really big week, not just for us but for all the clubs starting on Saturday.”

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