Tony Gold is targeting a top 10 finish ahead of London Lions’s South Midlands League opener against Buckingham Athletic tomorrow.
A loan deal to bring in Wingate & Finchley youngster Joe Sharpe was close to completion as the Lions look to build on an encouraging pre-season.
"The last few weeks have gone as well as can be expected," said Gold. "We've got a good set of lads, with an average age of 24."
The Lions were relegated last season and Gold, who recently returned to the club as joint-manager with Andy Landesberg and Head of Coaching, is confident they are heading in the right direction once again.
He said: "We've decided not to enter the FA Cup or FA Vase this season and with no reserve team, it’s a case of back to basics."
Lions lost three out of four pre-season friendlies, including a 4-2 defeat against Wingate, but Gold has been "impressed" by the progress of Max Kyte, who has scored braces in the last two games.
"Max has settled into his mind where he wants to play,” said Gold. “He’s worked hard in training and we’re hopeful he can do well.
"We're not blessed with strikers at the moment, although we still have Ben Ellis to come back."
Gold is confident his partnership in the dugout with Landesberg will bring the best out in the squad. “The signs are encouraging and the commitment has been great so far,” he said. “I love working with Andy - we’re both winners. We’ve got a good rapport with the young boys and are excited about competing in what will be a physically tough division.”
Josh Kennet will captain the team. "The boys look up to him," said Gold whose team face two games in four days, with a trip to Risborough Rangers to follow.
"We've got a young, fit and enthusiastic squad. We’ve set the players individual targets and have been giving them guidance, believe and confidence.
"I believe we have ability in the squad, but maybe not as much as two years ago when we won the title. But concentration and continuity is key.
"If we can finish in the top 10 then I’d consider that a really successful season."