"Our season starts now as far as I am concerned and I am pleased with the squad we have put together.
Lowestoft manager Jamie Godbold
After a strong finish last season, as Lowestoft Town ended the campaign as the division’s form team, they are now aiming to “build on” these successes.
And Blues boss Jamie Godbold believes his squad are in excellent shape ahead of the opening league fixture away at Hednesford Town today (Saturday) .
From where they found themselves at the start of last season with just a few contracted players it has been in stark contrast to this pre-season, as the majority of the Blues squad remain.
And Godbold is looking forward to continuing the progress that saw the Trawlerboys surge into mid-table at the end of last season.
Now competing in the newly named BetVictor Southern Premier Central League, Lowestoft face a “tough” opening away match at Hednesford Town on Saturday, August 10.
The Pitmen have moved from the Northern Premier League to now compete in the Southern League Central Division, meaning Lowestoft face an opening day 400-mile round trip to Staffordshire today.
The Pitmen finished in 13th position last season, with eight home wins, eight home defeats and four draws.
Lowestoft ended last season's campaign in 14th place, after five wins, six draws and 10 defeats on the road.
Looking forward to the tough tests ahead, Godbold said: “Last year the pre-season was a real challenging one.
“But it is a different picture now to a year ago – we are in a much better position.
“The squad has not changed significantly since last year and that is really helpful as everyone knows each other in the group.
“On paper we are stronger than where we were last year.
“We showed in the games last season that we can beat the top teams and in the last nine games we won seven.
“So we know the challenge ahead is to get to that level of consistency again."
Lowestoft have confirmed the signings of 20-year-old attacking midfielder Louis McIntosh following his release by Norwich City while there are two other new faces in the centre of the park - Miguel Lopez, formerly of Kirkley & Pakefield, and ex-Grimsby Town youth player Kyle Richardson.
They join new goalkeeper Luis Tibbles, with fellow new boy Alex Blowers providing the competition.
Keeper Elvijs Putnins, now with Great Yarmouth Town, and striker Armani Schaar, are the only two regulars from 2018-19 to have moved on and Godbold is quietly confident ahead of the opener in the Midlands and next Tuesday evening's first home game against St Ives.
Godbold said: "It's been a good summer for us and I think we are in a much better place now than we were this time, last year.
"It's really pleasing that most of last year's squad decided they wanted to sign up for another season while I am also pleased with the players we have brought in, who will add some extra competition for places.
"We have also added to the backroom staff by bringing in fitness and performance coach Mark Armitage, who was with Huddersfield Town when they won the Championship, and he will a great asset for us.
"There were some mixed results in pre-season, but how these games finish is never the be all and end all.
"It's about getting ready for the new season and helping the new players to integrate and from that point of view it all went well.
"Our season starts now as far as I am concerned and I am pleased with the squad we have put together."
Godbold added: “We have a real tough opener, but if everyone is at it we can cause any side problems.
“I feel we are in a really strong place and if we can manage to keep the players fit during the season then we have the ability to be in and around the play-offs.
"We have Travis Cole back fit and well, which is a real boost and like a new signing.
“Higgsy will be starting to run in the next few weeks and that will be like a new signing for us when he returns.
"I am feeling confident but you never really know how it will all work out until the games start.
"I guess we will know a bit more about where we stand after we have got the first two out of the way."
Lowestoft will be without the unavailable Lopez at Hednesford while there is a doubt over the fitness of Jack Wilkinson for today's trip.
The Trawlerboys then have two home encounters in quick succession at Crown Meadow, hosting St Ives Town on Tuesday, August 13 before Barwell visit on Saturday, August 17.