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A top three finish is the target for Lichfield City FC this season, according to boss Jay Hawkins.
Having seen his side finish fourth in the Midland Football League Division One, the City chief believes progression will be key for his charges this time around.
The club have tackled a number of higher league opponents during pre-season in a bid by Hawkins to fully test his squad.
“I am somebody who always strives to improve and do better and that is exactly the attitude I want the side to take this season,” he said.
“You could argue that we overachieved in finishing fourth last season but you have to aim high and we always want to test and push ourselves.”
Hawkins has retained the bulk of the squad from last season and brought in some new faces.
But even despite their strong showing last season, the City boss admits all players will need to fight for a starting berth.
He said: “It doesn’t matter if a player scored dozens of goals last year or performed brilliantly at the back or in midfield, they still have to prove to me that they are worthy of the shirt and worthy of their place.
“I don’t owe anybody a game and if someone misses out then it is up to them to show they want to fight for their place and get back in the side.”
“We have to be at our best”
Lichfield open the season with a home fixture against Coventry-based GNP Sports on Saturday (3rd August) and Hawkins is expecting a tough game against the newly-promoted side.
“They will be coming into the new season on a high after winning a lot of games and scoring a lot of goals so we will have to be at our best,” he said.
“I am pleased to be up against a strong side first up as we played some of our best football against the top teams last season.
“We scored a lot of goals last year but we also conceded too many and that is something I am keen to work on – a few 1-0 wins never go amiss.”
Kick-off against GNP Sports is at 3pm with entry £5 for adults and £3 for concessions. Lichfield City juniors get free entry when attending with an adult, who will pay half-price at £2.50.