Ashley Robinson believes Corby Town will be in good shape to launch a promotion challenge by the time they kick-off their new campaign next weekend.
The Steelmen’s bid to go one better than last season begins with a trip to Aylesbury United in the BetVictor Southern League Division One Central a week on Saturday.
Corby suffered heartbreak when they were beaten 4-3 by Bromsgrove Sporting in a dramatic play-off final in May.
Steve Kinniburgh resigned as manager during the summer with his assistant Robinson and captain Gary Mulligan stepping up to become interim joint-managers, backed up by experienced frontman Elliot Sandy.
They have since made a number of additions and Robinson believes there is now some depth in the squad to ensure Corby can challenge for honours again.
“To be honest, we are really happy with what we have got,” the joint-boss said.
“But we are always looking and there may be one or two more to come and hopefully one of those will be done over the next week.
“We have got a bit of depth in the squad and that’s something we missed last season.
“By the time we get to August 17, we should be in good shape and everyone knows what the target is.
“I think a club like Corby has to be looking at the play-offs and above, we have to be looking to gain promotion this time.
“It was so tough to take at the end of last season and we don’t want to go through that feeling again.”
Two of those summer additions have already made a big impact at Steel Park with Joe Burgess and Jake Duffy both impressing after joining from Stamford.
And Robinson feels that duo will be key in the way he wants the Steelmen to go about their business this season.
“Joe and Jake have been revelations since they came in,” Robinson added.
“They have bought into what we want and we have bought into what they want.
“They want to enjoy their football and we all want the team to be playing good football.
“That means playing out from the back when it’s on and getting the ball down and passing it.
“We aren’t a particularly big side so we need to make sure we move the ball well and I think we have shown signs of that in pre-season so far.”
Corby were beaten 2-0 by Chesham United in their pre-season friendly last weekend and they play their final warm-up match of the summer at Spalding United on Saturday (1pm kick-off).