Continuity is going to be key for Stocksbridge Park Steels, Chris Hilton has said on the eve of the new season.
The Steels have only lost unlikely top goal-scorer Rory Coleman from last season and Hilton believes the retention of all but one player is a major thing as the Steels bid to claim a top five place in a competitive league.
“I think there are some teams spending big money, like there always is,”Hilton told Non League Yorkshire.
“Kidsgrove are signing some big name players and Shaw Lane have signed some good players so they’ll both be up there.
“Then you have the teams who are always up there. Belper have signed a few players so have Spalding so it is going to be interesting and just as hard.
“For us, it is massive that we go into the season with continuity. Last summer we had a big turnover of players, whereas we have made few changes this year.
“People are asking ‘why haven’t we signed three or four players’? We wanted to keep this side together. We’re now able to get the squad together and work on extra things in training that previously we couldn’t before because we were working on basic shape.
“We can now work on the extra bits which will win us the points we need to get in the play-offs.”
Missing from the opening three games is key midfielder Corey Gregory who serves a suspension for his bizarre mud throwing red card at Spalding at the end of last season.
“We miss him for the first three games which is unfortunate and it means he misses the Handsworth FA Cup game,” Hilton added.
“It is a big miss because he’s calming influence for us and he brings a lot to the team. We showed how much we rate him by offering him a contract.”