Wilkin Wants To Know What's Next For His Super Saints

So how exactly do you go about improving on a season which saw your underdogs win the FA Trophy at the death and end it all one game away from promotion?

Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin doesn’t know the precise answer to that.

But he and his players are going to have a good go at trying.

“The quality of the league doesn’t relent,” he said. “It continues to be very challenging and we know we’ve got to dust ourselves down after last season, take all the positives out of it and start again.

“What we did last season doesn’t really have a bearing on what we’re likely to do this season.

“We draw confidence from where we were and the standards and levels we set and if we can achieve those again, we give ourselves a really good chance of being competitive again.”

Brackley’s cause isn’t helped by key departures.

Top scorer Aaron Williams has gone to the team who broke their heart last May in the National League North Promotion Final. Harrogate came calling, as did Solihull Moors for defender Alex Gudger - despite them thinking he was staying.

“We’ve lost a couple of big players,” he told the National League’s Oli Osborn. “At the end of the season because we had quite a prominent season you think could potentially be a whole lot worse, but we’ve bought in what we think could be decent players in time – players that we can work with and hopefully develop again. It’s about finding out about individual and how they mould and gel together and that’s obviously what pre-season is about.

“We wanted to try and bring more options to the squad if at all possible. Hopefully the signs are that we’ve done that – I don’t think we’re finished with all our business just yet, but we’ll continue to work at it and hopefully we can get a face or two in before the start of the season.”

That’s the problem with the National League North. You lot at the fixture list and rarely see a Saturday or a Tuesday when you expect your team to get three points.

First of all they visit Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC, before much changed Alfreton visit with their promotion specialist in charge. Darlington at St James Park come soon after.

“Bradford’s never been a happy hunting ground for us to kick-off at – traditionally we’ve never done well there so we know that’s going to be a real challenge.

“We faced them in the play-offs – that was a narrow win on our behalf. They’re a strong side and it’s a difficult place to go.

“Alfreton will be good this season. Billy (Heath) has got out of this league and he understands the level, he’s a good manager and he’s made a lot of good signings - people that he’s worked with a lot in the past.

“I expect Alfreton to have a far more prominent season than perhaps they did last season. As I said, we’re under no illusions of the level of the league and the quality within the league doesn’t let up.

“It’s going to be equally as challenging if not more challenging than it was last year but we’ve got a good idea of where we need to be at and you have to have things on your side to be competitive, whether it’s injuries or suspensions – they’re situations we will do our best to do well within and if we do, hopefully that will allow us to have as many players to pick from and be as competitive as we can.”

Where next?

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