Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
Nathan Jarman wants Barton Town to fly out of the blocks this season and not endure the poor start they did last year.
League Cup winners Barton returned for pre-season this week and they have also found out they will host Albion Sports at home on the opening day of the season.
Due to a stuttering eight games Barton were always playing catch-up and Jarman says they need a strong start if they want to improve on 2021/22.
“It will be competitive but when it is like anybody takes points off anybody,” Jarman told Non League Yorkshire.
“There’s seven-or-eight teams, maybe more, who think they have a chance.
“There’s Hallam, North Ferriby, Frickley, Yorkshire Amateur, Eccleshill, Penistone, ourselves, Garforth, Golcar.
“We just want to build on last year and progress on last year and finish higher.
“We finished seventh so and we went to go beyond that.
“If we can show progress then I’ll be happy.
“We want to make sure we hit the ground running this year.
“Last year we had six points after eight games and we were third bottom.
“We know we have quality in the the team and if we can add more quality we’ll be happy.”
Take out the start and Barton had quite a consistent campaign.
They were unbeaten for a long time at one stage and ended the season by winning the League Cup at the home of Doncaster Rovers.
That’s why former Barnsley striker Jarman intends to keep most of his team together.
“There is no need to rip it up and start again,” he said.
“We have kept the vast majority of the squad. I think 14 of the 17 we had last season are staying and we have one-or-two through the door.
“I have seen people jumping the gun and announcing signings but we’ll wait until we can do it on July 1st.
“We lost Curtis Bateson which is a big loss because he is a quality player.
“The door is open for him to come back.
“He’s non-contract at Cleethorpes and if he’s not getting the game then I think he’ll be our first port of call.
“We want to bring in a big target man striker to help Ben (Hinchliffe).
“Hinchy scored 25 goals and we want someone to come in and alleviate a bit of pressure off him so he can stick to scoring goals and not be a battering ram as well as a finisher.”
Jarman, one of the best Non League strikers to come out of Scunthorpe, turned his hand to management last summer and the experience has been so far so good.
“I know it is cliche and sounds ridiculous but you do learn so much,” he said.
“I don’t think I was naive to it and I remember speaking to you before and I was trying my best to not get carried away and say ‘we’ll pick up points here’ and ‘points there’.
“It is a lot harder than you think.
“Even recruitment and managing the lads there’s always different things that crop up.
“My phone will go off at least once a week with ‘some lad has done this’ or ‘some lad has upset them’.
“it is the same at whatever level you are at.
“It was an eye-opener but I know going into this season that we are a lot better prepared for the start and we won’t have to go through the dross we went through in the first eight games.”