After romping to the Central Midlands League South title last season, Selston are expecting a much tougher time defending their crown when the new season kicks-off on Saturday.
Selston were unable to go up due to ground facilities, but boss Craig Weston is hoping those issues will be sorted out this time around should they manage to repeat the feat.
However, he warned: “We know it’s going to be harder this time around and we are going to have to raise our game.
“There are one or two new teams in the league and we are also expecting the existing teams we were up against from last season to be stronger.
“So we are not going in blind and it would be naïve to say if we were just as good as last year, we’d do it again and it would just come to us.
“But we are looking forward to it. We have made one or two additions to our squad and we are looking strong.”
On the ground grading situation this season, he added: “I don’t have a lot to do with that side of things.
“But we are hoping it will be sorted. I have been told things will be in place.
“If we are in the same situation or thereabouts as last season, hopefully we will be able to go up. Hopefully that will be the case.”
Selston completed their pre-season with two wins this week, a 3-2 success at Kimberley MW on Tuesday night.
They led 2-1 at half-time through early goals from Widdowson and Jones, plus a penalty save from Moore, before a lovely solo effort from Kane Hempshall sealed it in the second half.
On Saturday Selston claimed their first silverware of the season as they won the first ever Parish Cup at Bracken Park, beating Underwood Villa 6-0 with braces for Widdowson and Radzynski and strikes by Renshaw and Hempshall.
“Results-wise pre-season has not gone as well as we would have liked but the actual style of play has gone really well,” said Weston.
Now the real stuff starts with Saturday’s opening league game at Blidworth Welfare (3pm).
“We played them at their place towards the end of last season and nicked a late equaliser,” said Weston.
“They are a good side and we expect them to be up in that top four this season.
“But hopefully we can get off to a good start and go forward from there.”