Racing Club Warwick manager Scott Easterlow is hoping that by providing a platform for local talent he can get the crowds back to Townsend Meadow.
Easterlow has made full use of his contacts book to draft in a number of players from Whitnash Town, Stockton and Southam ahead of his first campaign at Midland League level.
Early signs were encouraging with an attendance of 370 for the recent friendly with Leamington and Warwick resident Easterlow believes that for the club to be successful the community must buy into his shop-local approach.
“That was a big pull for me in getting people to the club,” said Easterlow who joined Racers from Stockton in May.
“Racing Club haven’t had a local manager for a long time, someone with local knowledge of players.
“We want to be a good football team but we want it to be a community thing.
“If one of your friends or your family are playing and you are at a loose end on a Saturday you are more likely to come down and have a watch if it is ten minutes down the road.
“Hopefully we can give them some nice football and a team to be proud of.”
Striker Adam Knight became the latest incoming, fresh from a 38-goal season at Stockton and joins a forward line that already contains Luke Church, Louis Bridges and Jake Brown.
However, Easterlow said that despite an embarrassment of riches in a number of positions, the rigours of a long season meant he had to look beyond the starting XI.
“It was accepted last year that the squad wasn’t big enough. When they had one or two missing they would drop points to clubs lower down the league.
“So we’ve made sure we have got strength in depth.
“But we’ve also slimmed it down a little by letting people go who haven’t had much game-time.”
Racing Club get their campaign under way a week on Saturday with a trip to Bolehall Swifts before home games against Brocton and Paget Rangers kick off what is a relatively undemanding opening month of the campaign.
But despite avoiding the fancied sides early on, Easterlow knows that with only one promotion place available, going up remains a tall order.
“You never know quite what you are up against, whether a team has got a new manager for example.
“I think seven or eight teams will fancy their chances.
“A few teams have signed players from two or three leagues above.
“With one place up for grabs it is hard to achieve.
“Walsall Wood have got their hearts set on going straight back up and are showing their intent, while Ilkeston’s new manager [Steve Sedgley] will have his contacts and that will make them strong. They’ve dropped down the divisions and you’ve got to wonder how much financial trouble they are really in.
“And there’s Leicester Road and Hinckley.
“But we’ll give it a go, play some football and see where that takes us.”
n Admission prices for Racing Club Warwick for the 2017/18 campaign are £5 for adults and £3 for concessions with under-16s free.