By Deal Town

Manager Steve King insists that his side will be “eyeing” a place in the new SCEFL Premier Division play-offs in the upcoming season.

An introduction of play-offs at step five has been welcomed by clubs after only having one side promoted in previous years, and King is hoping his side will be playing a part come next April.

“I think we have to be looking at the play-offs after finishing fourth two seasons ago and then third last season.”

“It will be a tough league again this season as lots of clubs are spending plenty of money as they always seem to do, but we will be a 40 game team which means the team we start with by and large will be the team that finishes the season with us.”

King says that “almost all” players from last season have been retained and he continues to look to add to his squad to assist in the challenge of winning promotion to the Isthmian South-East Division.

“Nearly all of our players from last season have agreed to stay. There are a couple that I am speaking to regarding work commitments but we will have a settled squad again and that helps massively with momentum.”

“Experience has taught me that a settled side is often a successful side, but we will look to add a couple of players to the squad and them conversations are ongoing.”

The Hoops will return to pre-season training in June ahead of their opening pre-season friendly at the Charles Ground against recently relegated Canterbury City on Friday 29th June, and King can’t wait to get back to it.

“Pre-season is always exciting for the fans and for everyone involved. We will get the boys back in early June and work hard before that first friendly at the Charles Ground on a Friday night against Canterbury City.”

With attendances last season nearly 50% increased on the season before, King acknowledges that the supporters will have another huge part to play again during the 2023/24 season.

“To get the attendances we got last season was incredible. It shows how much work has gone in to moving the club forward. To see over 750 at the final home game of the season after the disappointing cup defeat just showed what great supporters we have.”

“It is two-fold though as we have to put the performances in to make them want to come and support us, but we as a club, management team and players will never take that support for granted.”

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