Redditch United's manager Gary Whild says the Blue Square North will be more competitive than ever this season.
The Reds' boss told BBC Hereford and Worcester the quality within the division has improved year on year.
"There are some big teams that have dropped down from the main Conference, while some of the teams that have been promoted are talking of big things.
"It's never easy, but we have kept the bulk of our squad and we have to look to improve on last season," he said.
Redditch will have an early opportunity to look at the promoted clubs - Gateshead visit Valley Stadium for the season-opener on Saturday 9 August, with United travelling to Kings Lynn on the following Tuesday evening.
The one notable change to the Redditch squad is the departure of Exodus Geohaghan, who has joined Blue Square Premier club Kettering Town for a five-figure fee.
Whild says the 22-year old central defender has been a good servant in his time at the Valley Stadium and has what it takes to succeed at a higher level.
"He's been with us for two seasons and has been one of our better players," he said.
"He's still keen to progress in the game and I think he's got all the attributes to do that and we wish him all the best."
It's never easy, but we have kept the bulk of our squad and we have to look to improve on last season.
Redditch's manager Gary Whild
Redditch are in talks with the former Kidderminster Harriers' central defender Lee Ayres who they see as being an ideal replacement for Geohaghan.
Ayres is expected to play against Gateshead before entering into discussions with Whild about finalising his switch to the Valley Stadium.
BBC Hereford and Worcester will have regular updates on Redditch United versus Gateshead on 94.7FM, 104FM and 104.6FM.
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