NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Huntingdon Town chief targets a season of progress ahead of Sunday kick-off

Huntingdon Town boss Jimmy Brattan. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY

Huntingdon Town boss Jimmy Brattan. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Jimmy Brattan wants to bring the good times back to Huntingdon Town.

The local club go into United Counties League battle this Sunday when travelling to promoted side Whittlesey Athletic for their Division One curtain-raiser (5.15pm).

Town dodged the drop last season but go into the new campaign with much loftier goals as Brattan sets his sights on a top-five finish as a stepping stone towards a future promotion.

The Peterborough-based boss told the Hunts Post: "The lads have been set a target of keeping themselves in the top 10 throughout the season and challenging to finish in the top five.

"We had to fight to stay up last season and we don't ever want to be in that position again. It was another season of upheaval with a managerial change in myself coming back to the club, and a real lack of consistency and depth in terms of squad selection.

"But I now have excellent competition for places in all areas of the pitch and a much better squad than when we finished 12th two seasons ago.

"The chairman has been hugely supportive in giving us a playing budget for the first time, but I can assure everyone the lads are here for the right reasons and not a payday.

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"They are ambitious and determined like myself in wanting to take the club back into the Premier Division. It may not happen this season or next, but it is a long-term goal we have set."

Town have performed well in three pre-season friendlies against higher-level opposition, losing 2-0 to St Ives Town, 4-2 to Cambridge City and 2-1 to Godmanchester Rovers.

Brattan has filled his goalkeeping void by snapping up former Peterborough Northern Star shot-stopper Sarunas Snitkas and has also drafted in three more outfield players.

Midfielder Sean Roberts and frontman Ian King are also previous Northern Star men while left winger Ashley Firth joins after time out of the game due to travelling.

"Sarunas got in contact with us when he heard we were looking for a goalkeeper," said Brattan.

"I was impressed by his enthusiasm to be a Huntingdon Town player and I'm very happy to have someone with experience at a higher level on board.

"I was inundated with messages from keepers who were keen to join us, but I'm confident we've made the right decision in going with Sarunas.

"We've also made three more good additions to the squad with Sean, Ian and Ashley, and I'm really happy with the group of players that we go into battle with."