WIVENHOE Town boss Gary Monti is determined to improve on last season and take his side forward.

The Dragons had a much-improved second-half of last term and turned a wretched losing run into an eye-catching winning one, after the former Tiptree Jobserve boss arrived in February.

Now they are looking to build on that success when the new Thurlow Nunn League campaign kicks-off in August.

“We aren't naive enough to think we can just carry on from last season without improving things on and off the pitch,” said Monti.

“We've been busy recruiting the right calibre of player to play at this level and we'll be in a position to announce them in the coming week or so.”

Monti takes charge of his first full campaign in the hotseat and is looking to make his mark on the club for the future.

“We started our pre-season on June 19 and had over 40 players there, all wanting to get into the first team," said Monti.

"Players want to come here and play.”

Coaches John Tackray and Richard Chapman will remain at the club with the additions of Liam Daniels being brought in as goalkeeping coach and Jay Hall as reserve-team manager, with the latter’s brief being to promote from the under-18s and develop players ready for a first-team chance.

“We want to have a really strong reserve team this season with players fighting for first-team places, so we want to keep hold of everyone we've got,” said Monti.

“We finished last year really well with some decent results against teams higher than us in the league but we know every team will improve their squads.

"I can't see anyone being weaker than they were last season.

"I keep seeing teams announcing new signings so I know they are all getting stronger.”

With pre-season firmly underway at Broad Lane, the club have arranged fixtures involving Tiptree Heath, FC Clacton, White Notley, Hatfield Peverel, Bishop's Stortford and West Bergholt throughout July.

“All the players will get a chance to impress in these games," said Monti.

"Results aren't too important, although if you ask most managers, there's no such thing as a friendly.

“There are some very strong sides in this league so we're looking for progression from last season.

"With four teams having the chance of promotion, there's an obvious target there but we have to be realistic.

“You don't go from a team fighting relegation to a team fighting for promotion without some very big improvements and player recruitment overnight.”

Off the pitch, chairman Mo Osman and the committee are working hard to give Monti the tools to be successful to attract good players and improve the club as a whole.

“The pitch has been reseeded and is looking fantastic," said the Dragons boss.

"When players come to look at our facilities, they can't help but be impressed with them.

“We're looking to take the club forward on and off the pitch.

"We want to attract supporters of all ages and make them feel a part of the club.

“Everything's in place for a good season and hopefully we can do enough on the pitch to grab one of those four promotion places.”