Halstead Town manager Mark McLean said he has high hopes for the squad for this season, but recognises the need to develop a killer instinct, writes Hannah Dolman.
The team have taken part in pre-season friendlies in preparation for the 2017/18 season, with their most recent outing coming in a 1-0 loss to Saffron Walden Town.
McLean said: “We had so many chances but just couldn’t convert them. We were lacking that final touch, the killer blow.
“But I think that’s something that will come as the season progresses, we definitely have the talent.”
The team’s first game of the season is due to take place on Tuesday, August 1 as they travel to Holland FC (7.45pm).
“It’s a long season, and there will be ups and downs, but it would be a big thing to win the first game next week,” McLean added.
“The main thing is that it will give us a really good idea of where we are at — until then I don’t want to force any targets.
“They have some experienced players and it’s going to be a tough game, but we love being challenged with these games.
“We have internal expectations and there’s a belief from within that we can do well, and that’s what I expect, to do the best we can.
“What I want to see at the start of the season is desire and hard work, we can worry about targets when we know how we stack up.
“But I’m definitely optimistic about the season, it’s my job to be after all, but cautiously optimistic for now.”
He added that they would start the season without key player and captain Lewis Cunliffe, who is sidelined with injury.
The Thurlow Nunn fixtures were released last week, with Cornard United and AFC Sudbury Reserves playing their first fixtures on August 5.