For Oxhey Jets manager Wayne Gladdy, the forthcoming campaign gives his side the chance to improve on last season’s 18th place finish in the Premier Division.
Gladdy took charge of Jets last summer and was tasked with rebuilding a team which ended the 2012/2013 campaign in third.
It wasn’t an easy job. Several new players were brought in and the squad were unable to undertake a full pre-season.
As a result Jets struggled early on. However, they managed to avoid relegation after a strong end to the campaign and the Oxhey boss is hopeful his players can build on that.
“This season for us is about progression, it’s as simple as that,” Gladdy said. “I don’t want to be saying that we’ll finish in a specific place, maybe after the first five games of the season I’ll be able to judge that better.
“I’d like to think we could make it into the top half. If we have another campaign like the last though I would be disappointed, hopefully we can do better than that.”
Gladdy has been able to retain the squad from last season and has addedto it withs his brother Warren, who is a midfielder.
One player who could make the difference for Jets is striker Lewis Putman.
“He scored more than 80 goals in all competitions for the club during the 2012/2013 campaign before switching to then Ryman Premier side Wealdstone.
However, a knee ligament injury during pre-season meant he failed to establish himself with the Stones and he returned to Jets at the end of the previous campaign.
Gladdy is please to have Putman back at the club but is realistic about keeping hold of the striker for a prolonged spell.
He said: “We know Lewis’ qualities and at the moment he is with us. He is a great player and he’ll be important for us while he is here. If a bigger club comes sniffing then I won’t stand in his way, that’s not what I’m like.”
Jets made it through the Herts Charity Shield first round with a 6-5 penalty shoot out win against St Margaretsbury.
The match ended 2-2 after 90 minutes. Lee Armitt netted both goals, including a last-minute equaliser which sent the game to penalties.