AFC Dunstable boss Steve Heath is delighted to have been able to keep the majority of last season’s squad together.
After the club finished their first ever season at this level in seventh, there were plenty of takers for the AFC players.
However, there hasn’t been a mass exodus, as Heath said: “I was hoping to have had a couple of weeks off but it became very apparent early on that I had my work cut out keeping our squad together.
“So, my two week break turned into one day!
“Due to individual performances last season there has been a lot of interest from other clubs regarding my players, but luckily for me not only has our football on the pitch progressed over the last couple of seasons it also has also progressed off the pitch.
“With the hard work from Simon, Dave and Craig and the rest of the committee it’s has made it a lot easier to keep the squad together and add some very good signings.”
AFC ended their pre-season campaign by beating Bovingdon 2-1 at the weekend with Nathan Frater and Tom Silford on target.
With an opening game against Fleet Town approaching on Saturday, Smith is aware that the goalposts have changed this term.
He added: “Last year being our first season in the Southern League lived up to its expectations.
“The main goal for the season was to not get relegated.
“As the season progressed it became obvious that we were more than competitive at that level even though we had some major injuries to Newman Carney, Leon Cashman and my captain Moses Olaleye
“We went on to win the Beds Senior Cup for the first time in the club’s history, but we missed out on the play offs in the last game of the season.
“Wee came into the new season with the momentum of winning the league the season before and taking people by surprise.
“This season I feel the league will be a lot stronger and I can’t predict what it will hold for us but the one thing I do know is, with the squad I have we will work hard, be unpredictable and very entertaining.”