Eastwood Town have made what joint-boss Nick Hawkins believes could be one of their best summer signings - a nutritionist to oversee player diets.
Hawkins and fellow manager Chris Shaw have identified player fitness as a crucial area of improvement required at Coronation Park, with the Badgers having been found wanting in that sense on several occasions last season.
With that in mind, James Rhodes-Doughty, whose company face2faceNutrition will also be providing some sponsorship for the club, has been enlisted to produce dietary plans for the squad to help keep their physical state in check.
Hawkins said: “Going to the gym and getting healthy is the craze at the moment and on top of that it’s important for diet to be right as it can make a huge difference.
“The nutritionist will work with us to provide individual programmes for each player, that they will be expected to stick to given it will quickly become evident if they don’t.
“To compete in the league we’re about to play in, it’s not just about ability. If you can win your physical battles during a game then your ability can often shine through in the latter stages.
“There are some players who are dropping down one or two levels who need to look after their bodies better, and some others who are coming up a few levels that need building up physically, so this will help on all counts.”
The Badgers are continuing to prepare for pre-season, with players returning for training on June 22.
Hawkins says he has agreed deals to sign more players but until forms are signed with the league their names cannot be revealed.
He added: “I’ve also had contact from a couple of players who have been in academies at league clubs and who want to come and train with us initially, so I’m confident we can get a good squad finalised before the pre-season games start.”
Meanwhile, reserve team manager Dave Hunt has left Eastwood to become manager of Underwood Villa.
“We wish Dave well. We’re still undecided as to whether we’ll run a reserve side next year but I see it as a big benefit so I hope we can sort something out,” said Hawkins.