‘Every manager is always looking to improve, but I’m pleased with the squad’ – AFC Portchester boss Dave Carter after friendly draw at two tiers higher Gosport Borough
And the Royals boss believes the competition for places within the group will bring out the best in his players in 2021/22.
Carter's Wessex League Premier Division side played out a 0-0 draw at two divisions higher Gosport Borough in their latest friendly - the first playing of the Ray Stainton and Steve Woods Memorial Cup between the teams - on Saturday.
The strength of AFC Portchester's squad this term was highlighted with ex-Hawks midfielder Steve Ramsey and former Brighton and Swindon man George Barker among a strong-looking Royals bench at Privett Park.
Carter says he's delighted with the group he has at his disposal and wants the hard work to continue to be put in by all his squad.
He said: ‘There is going to be a lot of competition (within the squad) and we had three or four players missing still (against Gosport).
‘I’m pleased all over the pitch, everyone’s put their hands up in the air and have said they want to play next season in this team, it’s what I’m looking for.
‘You looked at the bench and we had Steve Ramsey and George Barker - there was some real quality on there.
‘We still had Conor Bailey missing with Covid, Kieran Roberts is still recovering from a hip injury, but he’ll be ready for the start of the season and he’s been doing some of his own bits.
‘Chino (Alex Baldacchino) pulled his calf in training slightly so we left him out as a precaution.
‘Every manager is always looking to improve, but I’m pleased with the squad at the moment.
‘The workrate the lads have been putting in training has been fantastic. I keep saying we’ve got to be fit and ready if we want to challenge and be up there.'
The Royals' return friendly against Gosport in the Ray Stainton and Steve Woods Memorial Cup this coming Friday has now been switched from The Crest Finance Stadium to Privett Park.
Portchester are due to host Chichester City (July 20) and AFC Totton (July 24) in subsequent friendlies.