DAVE Foster has vowed to do everything in his power over the coming months to mould a squad capable of firing Kendal Town to promotion next term.
Defeat at Radcliffe Borough on Saturday consigned the Mintcakes to a tenth-place finish in their first season back at this level since 2006 following relegation from the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
Little time has been wasted in getting the rebuilding process underway, with one potential ace in the pack signing on the dotted line within hours of the campaign’s end.
Full-back Kieran Walmsley returns to Parkside Road from Chorley as Foster signalled his intentions to conclude transfer business and have a fully costed plan in place as soon as possible.
“It’s an ok finish this year but nothing more than ok and we have desires to be better,” he said. “We have expectations to be in the play-offs next year.
“We’ve got a good nucleus here but we need to add quality and experience and those are conversations I’ll be having in the near future.
“I have a list of players I’m interested in and it’s up to me to get those players through the door and signed early so we can have everything in place for pre-season.
“I have a rough idea where we are financially for next year but we do have to be a bit cautious.
“We have the clubhouse back but don’t want to be in a position halfway through next season where I have to cut the budget because we’re not making the money we thought.
“I believe I’ll have something competitive. It may just mean I have to do a little bit more running around and work harder when it comes to negotiations.
“Part of our location means we don’t have the luxury of having an abundance of players on our doorstep but I’ll do my homework and get the right players for our style and system.”
A positive start to the season saw Kendal briefly flirt with the league’s upper echelons before a spate of injuries coincided with plummeting form – ending any realistic hopes of a promotion charge.
However, this allowed Foster – who took over the managerial reins from Steve Edmondson in October – the time to conduct a root and branch review of his playing staff’s capabilities.
And while the futures of a couple of Parkside Road’s headline acts still need resolving, the former Lancaster City forward is very much focused on improving squad depth.
“I’ve had a pretty clear idea for a good few weeks now which players I know I want to keep, which players are up to it and which lads will be surplus,” he added.
“Sometimes when you come in part way through the season, things are in place you possibly don’t agree with but your hands are tied to an extent.
“That means you have to balance the books and perhaps don’t have that strength in depth and that’s the one thing we need next year.
“I need to turn around and see five lads itching to start, at times this year we’ve been a bit too thin.
“That comes down to balancing the books so you don’t have two or three earning the money and the rest not. That’s part of the position I inherited but next year will be different.
“It’s about looking at the balance of the squad rather than one or two players. It’s nice to have those but the other 12 or 13 are important.”