Hemel Town chairman Dave Boggins is hoping his side can go one better this season after making the playoffs last term but acknowledges it will be a difficult challenge.
The Tudors have made a strong start to the National League South season, with seven points from their first three games, including four points against fellow playoff teams from 2017/18.
Speaking to the Gazette’s match-day reporter Allan Mitchell, Boggins said: “I hope we can go one stage further, but it is going to be a much tougher ask this time round, with the likes of Woking, Torquay, Dartford and Billericay, not to mention the usual sides who have ambitions like ours such as Wealdstone, St Albans and Welling United, who have all spent money revamping their squads.
“We have had to make more money [for the players’ budget] available to try to compete, but it won’t be easy with Billericay spending a reported £20,000 a week in wages, but I believe the manager can get the best out of the players we have and we will be there or thereabouts come May.”
Asked about the turnover of players in the squad, he said players coming and going is part and parcel of non-league football but he is pleased the bulk of last season’s squad has remained in tact.
He said: “Continuity is vital to be successful and if you look at our three most consistent players, Jordan Parkes, Laurie Walker and Kyle Connolly, they have been part of this club for a number of years now and they remain regular members of the team.
“If we can add the right players to the core of the side we will be up and around the top of the table all season.
“It’s so important that everyone sticks together at the club, from the supporters to the volunteers, who do such a great job, and the management team and players.
“We are all working to the same end – promotion to the National League Premier Division. Every team that has been promoted since we arrived in this league has survived and held their own up there. There is no reason to say we won’t be able to do the same.”
Hemel gained a strong point at Dartford on Saturday, following an impressive 2-1 away win at Hampton & Richmond last Tuesday.
Asked about improvements being made to the ground and those that have been completed, Boggins said: “The new McDonalds Family Stand is testament to the efforts of vice-chairman Kerry Underwood and club president Sir Mike Penning, who have helped give the club a more professional outlook.
“One of the reasons I got Kerry and Mike on board was to give the club a new persona within the town and it has paid dividends.”
As well as the revamped stand, there are plans to add extra terracing along the sides of the pitch as well as a new corporate entertainment area behind one of the goals.
This area is already used by the club’s academy and the plan is to upgrade it by adding a balcony to the top of the Portacabin so guests can watch the game form there. Details will be announced soon on how to hire the room.