MARK Grimley says teams will be wiser as his Uttoxeter Town side prepare for a new season in the Midland Football League.
The fledgling Town side are breaking new ground with every season, and will compete at step six of non-league for the first time in their history after finishing second in the Staffordshire Senior League last campaign.
And boss Grimley is expecting a tougher challenge, saying: “We’ve got to be at it in every game.
“We’ll play a team once and they’ll analyse it for when we play them again.
“We’ve done that for the last two years, and we’ve found that against the better teams we’ve put things in place to counter their strengths.
“But all the teams will be doing that against us next year, so we might find that the first time around it will be a bit of a feeler, and then second time around will be when things get tougher.
“We can compete if we can just get ourselves right come August.”
Grimley and his recently-expanded backroom team have already begun building for the new campaign.
He said: “We’re speaking to a few players, and have got one or two who have said they’ll come to pre-season.
“The nucleus of the side we’ve got can kick on, we just need a little bit of strength in depth.
“In the Under-18s we have got a lot of players who’ve been at pro clubs, and if they’re good enough for the first team, they’re old enough in my opinion.
“So I won’t have any qualms about bringing players through.
“We’ve got to settle on a system and then bring the players in to fit that system.”
Going into the final game of the season just ended, Uttoxeter still had a chance to claim the championship, but though they won, results elsewhere did not go their way.
Asked whether he was pleased to finish second or disappointed to miss out on top spot, Grimley said: “It’s a little bit of both.
“I feel like there were holes in a few of our performances and we let ourselves down on a few occasions.
“But on the whole it’s been a fantastic season – considering we were only looking to consolidate at the start of July.
“To go into the final game knowing we had a chance of winning the title was something special.
“We would have liked to have put a cup on the shelf but it wasn’t to be.”