Setchell happy with Town as the countdown begins
King's Lynn joint boss Gary Setchell aims to lay down an opening day UCL Premier Division title marker at home to Irchester on August 13.
Last season's runners-up were humbled 3-0 away to Long Buckby in their first-ever competitive game 12 months ago, but Setchell insists the early signs are positive.
Lynn's new-look squad returned for their first pre-season training session at the weekend prior to attending the club's Open Day at The Walks.
'The first session could not have gone any better,' said Setchell. 'The facilities at KES (King Edward VII) are first class. The new lads have joined in with the old boys. We had a little brief chat first thing about the shortfalls of last season and how we feel the squad has been improved and how we all have to work a little bit harder to achieve our goal.
'We had a good season last season, but that is done. If the lads work as hard as they did in that first session we will be a very tough team to beat. Everyone learned so much in the first year and we're all working to make this a proper football club on and off the pitch – the owners, the management and the players.'
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Lynn have drafted in experienced central defenders Stuart Wall and ex-Wisbech captain Paul Cousins to bolster the club's backline.
'We felt we conceded too many goals last season. That is something I want to be big on,' said Setchell.
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'We need to keep clean sheets and if you look at St Neots last year away from home they were good at that. The two lads are 6ft plus, ball winners. We have got a small squad of 15 and one or two coming in on a trial basis. Everyone has a clean slate.
'We feel all of those lads are capable of being in the first team. It'll be hard on some players, but it's down to them over the next six or seven weeks to make it difficult for myself and Boony (Kevin Boon).'
Lynn and champions St Neots pulled well clear of the rest to finish on 100-plus points, but Setchell believes this season could prove a tighter affair.
'I think it will be a more competitive league,' he said. 'It turned into a three-horse race last season and then eventually a two-horse affair.
'I think potentially more teams can take points off each other. We've spoken to one or two players who have also been speaking to Deeping. Spalding have come down from a higher league and the likes of Long Buckby, Newport Pagnell and Boston Town are there again.
'I said last year we had to hit the ground running and we couldn't have been more flat on our backs after the first game. We won at Boston the next time out and that helped us kick on. This year we need to cut out the silly points we gave away.'
Lynn follow up their Irchester opener with a trip to Sleaford on August 16 before hosting Boston Town on August 23. Town then travel to Yaxley on August 27 following the release of the opening month's league fixtures.
Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Watson unveiled a plaque in the Main Stand on Saturday to officially open the stadium following Town's inaugural season. Young defender Ryan Fryatt also completed the formalities of signing his contract.