Kings Langley joint manager Paul Hughes is realistic about his side’s first ever Premier Division campaign: “First and foremost we want to stay in the division.”

Langley secured their place in the top tier of the Spartan South Midlands League structure by finishing as Division One runners up last season.

Hughes and fellow boss Richie Hanlon have kept faith with the squad that sealed promotion, although they’ve lost influential defender Craig Preston to retirement and Gary Connolly has gone travelling.

Preston’s replacement is Stuart Deaton from Dunstable Town while young striker Benny Fiadzomer has joined on a season-long loan from Hemel Hempstead Town.

“Obviously going into a new league means it is difficult to gauge how we will get on,” Hughes said.

“We are hopeful that we can do well and we are confident in the lads’ ability to make the step up into a new division.”

Kings begin their first Premier Division campaign against Colney Heath on Saturday. Heath finished third in the table last season and Hughes says the contest will be a good test for his players.

“That first game will allow Richie and I to judge the side,” he explained. “They finished third in the Premier Division last season and I know they have managed to retain the majority of their squad this summer.

“So it won’t be easy for us and it will let us see how the lads can get on against a good side.”

He continued: “It will take Richie and I a little while to learn the division. That may take a season or it may take two but we will get there in the end.

“But everyone at the club is excited. It’s the first time Kings Langley are playing at this level and there is a great feeling around the place.”

Kings were knocked out of the Herts Charity Shield on Saturday after losing 8-7 on penalties to Leverstock Green. The contest was goalless after 90 minutes but Green held their nerve from the spot.