Nathan Collins believes he has put together a Boston Town squad capable of mixing it with the division’s best.
The Poachers kick off their competitive action on Saturday as they host Wisbech Town in the FA Cup’s extra-preliminary qualifying round (KO 3pm), before beginning their United Counties League Premier Division season with a Lincolnshire derby at Harrowby United on Tuesday (KO 7.45pm).
The returning manager is desperate for Town to improve upon last season’s 16th-place finish, and he hopes his squad will be able to hit the ground running.
“We’ve had a bit of a strange pre-season with lots of players being unavailable through weddings and things like that,” the manager said.
“But those players are becoming available now and it’s up to them to work hard and show they deserve a place.
“But I think we’re good enough to be a match for anybody in this league.”
First up at the DWB Stadium are league rivals Wisbech in a cup match with £1,500 going to the winners.
With such great financial rewards it seems strange to schedule a cup contest for the season’s curtain-raiser.
And although Collins would rather his squad had a few games under their belt before facing the Fenmen, he knows it will be the same for both sides.
“Like every game, we want to win it, 100 per cent,” he said.
“I’d rather have a league game or two before this one, but we just have to go out and try to win it, a cup run can make a big difference for teams at this level.”
Following last week’s friendly 2-0 defeat to Spalding United, the Poachers ended their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 victory over Lincolnshire League Wyberton.
Danny Trott got the winner and he, along with fellow strikers Sam O’Malley, Alex Beck, Daryl Clare and James Wroot, is giving Collins lots of reasons to feel optomistic.
He added: “Danny and Sam give us a physical presence and Alex I rate comfortably as one of the top strikers in the league.
“James is a different type of player as he has pace and likes to run in behind.
“But they’ll all learn a lot from Daryl in training.”
Meanwhile, Town have also shored things up at the back, bringing in former Grimsby Town defender Josh Sunter as another option alongside fellow central defenders Simon Ashton and Michael Wood.
Collins said: “Josh should be playing at a much higher level.
“He’s a massive signing for us.
“He’s played for Grimsby reserves and will work well with our other defenders.”