King’s Lynn Town’s head of media Mark Hearle takes his own personal view of the new season ahead of Saturday’s Walks opener with Biggleswade Town.
It’s that time of the season where hopes are high and everyone is confident that this is going to be ‘our year'.
A ball has yet to be kicked in anger but ‘that’ feeling of a celebration in April is doing the rounds.
Expectation levels here at The Walks are always high, be that rightly or wrongly.
Nothing wrong with that of course but at times a step back and a look at the bigger picture may just put a little more of a realistic slant on things.
Simon Clark’s early work at the helm, along with Lee Beevers and Sam Gaughran has impressed me greatly.
Clark is thorough, extremely thorough.
His knowledge of the non-league game borders at times like an encyclopaedia with training being done by the book and all meticulously planned.
I would also suspect he already has a full dossier on most, if not all, of our opposition over the next nine months or so.
The summer arrivals appear to be bedding in nicely but that will continue well into the early part of the new season.
Rory McAuley to me looks a solid lynchpin and I can see a really blossoming partnership developing with 'Mr reliable' Ryan Fryatt in the centre of defence.
Kalern Thomas attacks and defends in equal measures and operates at a great pace which will terrify many opposing full backs. Jordan Richards looks a lively signing along with Nathan Stewart who will need some time to adjust to this level.
The business to get striker Harry Limb to the club on release from Burnley was maybe, Clark’s best bit of summer dealings.
A young man with so much to prove and a huge appetite to perform and move back to the higher level where he believes he belongs.
Clark has made no secret of his delight when Michael Gash and Ryan Jarvis confirmed they would both be back to don the blue and gold and they are, most obviously huge players to retain.
Jarvis was superb throughout last season and Gash, returning from a serious injury, turned in Majestic performances coupled with a huge work rate that made him a firm favourite with many supporters.
For me, these two were the signings of the summer without a doubt. Add in Alex Street, possibly in the form of his life last season and captain Michael Clunan – sadly missed at the tail end of last season - and it is very easy to see why Town are expected to be eating from the top end of the Southern Central division table next season.
However with yet another summer reorganisation we will be crossing swords with some foes from the past and some unknown quantities to add further spice to a league which at present looks wide open to me.
Kettering of course will be challenging and I fully expect the Midland powerhouses of Tamworth and Stourbridge to be doing likewise.
Let’s not forget Royston Town who caused a few surprises last season and Hitchin Town who under-achieved last time.
Then of course Needham Market, Leiston and Lowestoft Town with their off-field troubles will be joining the party giving proceedings a little more of a local feel than usual.
All very interesting to say the least. The fact that we face four of the six sides I have mentioned above in the opening three weeks of the season will, I know, not faze Simon Clark one little bit.
He is another of the ‘one game at a time' brigade and that is the way it should/has to be.
However to collect some points from these teams would again put down a marker for what lays ahead of us and then who knows where that could lead too.
I’m not making any rash predictions, there’s far too many splinters in my backside as it is.
However momentum is crucial and important and if that can be gained early on then who knows. Let the action commence.