Ross Potter is under no illusions that only a promotion challenge will suffice for Diss Town during their 2016-17 campaign.
Having dropped down to the Thurlow Nunn League First Division 12 months ago, Potter’s men were never in major contention to make an immediate return to step five.
The Tangerines finished seventh overall, with some 26 points separating them and the top three.
While a number of last term’s squad have agreed to remain at Brewers Green Lane, Potter has also been active in a recruitment sense.
Jack Tipple (Scole United), Charlie Webb (Walsham-le-Willows), Sam Bryant (Acle), Ian Fancett (Thetford) and George Macrae (Gorleston) have all arrived, while centre-back Mark Shadrack has also returned to the club.
With those additions in place, Potter is confident that his men will be able to live up to expectations.
“The board expect us to be battling towards the top of the table and so do I,” he said.
“Being at Diss, there should be no other target.
“We will be much more competitive than last year.
“We have more in our armoury, more goals and will cope with the physicality of the division better.
“Last year, myself and the team did a lot of learning and that only bodes well.
“If we can get our strongest team out on the pitch most weeks, we will be serious contenders.”
It is the re-signing of Shadrack that has particularly pleased Potter, whose side start their season with a trip to Dereham Town Reserves on Wednesday (7.45pm).
The defender was a regular in the Mildenhall team during the early part of last term, but he eventually fell out of favour under the management of Dean Greygoose.
“I should have looked at getting Mark back last season,” admitted Potter.
“He offers plenty of experience and brings a calming influence throughout the team.
“There were a few teams chasing him this summer, but Diss is Mark’s club, which is great for us.
“He will lead our back four and be a big player for us.”