Uppingham Town’s first run out of the season ended in a 5-1 loss to Gretton but with the club’s squad unlikely to change much from last year the management are confident of a top half finish again.
There was no panic in the Uppingham camp following the PDFL Premier Division side’s opening loss as it was seen as a chance for the players to blow out the cobwebs and get some game time into their legs.
Uppingham are essentially a small market team, hampered by a small catchment area and unable to attract players to travel in and play.
Last season the club endured a year of injury turmoil but still managed to challenge the top half of the table for the majority of the season, finally finishing in fifth place.
Uppingham fixtures secretary Billy Beaver said: “If we can stay injury-free throughout the season we would hope to stay in that top five but if we pick up a lot of injuries we could finish much lower than that.
“We have pretty much got everyone that we had last season. There are a few injuries carried over from last year and I am not sure how fit they are. But we are probably as strong as we can be.”
Success in 2014/15 could rest in the hands of some of the club’s promising youngsters.
Elliott Bentley may move up to a higher level of football next season but Beaver is excited about the promise of talented wide attacker Ryan Waller.
However, Beaver said the main thing that will make the difference between success and mediocrity next season will be the commitment from the players.
He said: “We have been back for three weeks but the turnout has been disappointing.
“We are interested in anyone who wants to turn out and play for us and people can come down to training at 6.30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.”