Bexhill United Football Club is aiming to finish as high as possible on the eve of the new league season.
For the third consecutive year, the Pirates will begin their Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One programme with a trip to Oakwood, tomorrow (Saturday).
Bexhill manager Ryan Light said: “There’s a real excitement around the group and a real buzz in the dressing room. We’re really intrigued to see where this group of players can go.
“I think I said last year we could be dark horses because we just didn’t know. This year we know a lot more and we know a lot more about our own group.
“We want to finish as high up the table as possible. We just want to do as well as we can really and that means being more consistent in our performances. We really believe we can beat anyone home or away in our division on our day.”
Bexhill finished 10th last term - four places and 13 points above tomorrow’s opponents.
“We’re looking to improve on our 10th place finish,” continued Light. “How far we can improve, time will tell. But we’re definitely looking to improve. I think we’re a more mature group and we’ve got more of an idea on what we’re facing.
“We slightly under-achieved as a group whilst they were trying to find their feet. Having now got a year under their belt, I feel we can get more out of them. Hopefully now they’ve learnt a hell of a lot.
“The teams that were up there were the most consistent teams and ground results out even when they weren’t playing well, whereas when we didn’t play well, we got battered.”
Bexhill will head to The Oaks in Crawley tomorrow hoping it’s third time lucky after losing 2-1 there last year - when Light felt they were the better side - and 7-2 in August 2015.
As usual, Bexhill will play their opening few games away from home as The Polegrove is in the hands of Bexhill Cricket Club for the next month or so.
“It’s not easy, teams like playing at home, but we just have to get on with it,” added Light. “It’s part and parcel of being at Bexhill United at the moment.”
Gordon Cuddington will return to join what should be a full strength Bexhill squad for tomorrow’s match and they will be buoyed by last weekend’s Peter Bentley Challenge Cup win away to Southwick.
Bexhill United’s early season fixtures (league unless stated): August 12 Oakwood (a), August 19 St Francis Rangers (a), August 26 Hailsham Town (a), August 28 Seaford Town (a), September 2 Steyning Town (a).