Inverurie Locos manager Neil Cooper today insisted he is in no rush to secure signings ahead of the new Highland League campaign.
Locos kick-off their league campaign with a home match against Buckie Thistle on Saturday July 27.
Cooper has high aspirations for the upcoming season but will not be rushed into securing fresh additions and will only move if the right man becomes available.
He said: “We are not in a great hurry for new signings.
“If a player becomes available and it is in the right area then we might look to do it.
“We will keep our eyes open but we have a good squad and a lot of options now.”
Inverurie Locos stepped up their preparation for the season with a 1-0 friendly loss to an Aberdeen XI on Tuesday at Harlaw Park.
With Cove Rangers’ exit to League Two via the pyramid play-offs the Highland League has been blown wide open.
Cooper accepts Locos will be one of a number of ambitious clubs looking to capitalise on Cove’s promotion to the SPFL set-up.
He said: “There are a lot of good teams in the Highland League even though Cove are away.
“There are teams like Formartine United, Fraserburgh, Buckie Thistle, Brora, Forres Mechanics – they will all be seeing it as a big chance.
“In any league campaign you want to finish first.
“And if you can’t finish first then second.”
Having smashed the century mark for goals in all competitions last season Cooper wants a balance between attacking edge and defensive solidity going forward.
He said: “Last year we scored more than 100 goals.
“We scored 96 times in the Highland League and then there were the added goals in the cup competitions.
“The season before we had the second best defensive record in the Highland League.
“However, last season our defensive record was sixth best and we didn’t defend as well as a team as we did the year before.
“We need to improve that.
“If we can then we have a chance of being up there and hopefully challenging up near the top.”
Locos’ pre-season preparation will continue at the weekend with a home clash against Lowland League side East Stirlingshire on Saturday (2pm). They will then face a Ross County XI at Harlaw Park on Monday (7.30pm).
“I am looking forward to the new season,” said Cooper.
“The Highland League is a great division as it is good people who love their football.
“It can be frustrating at this time of year because we are at part-time level so holidays can come into play for pre-season training.
“Sometimes players can’t change that because of work commitments. But now that everyone is back we have played four games.
“I have great admiration for players as they came in and have worked really hard.
“We have a great coaching staff as well that works very hard.
“Everyone works together and are all trying to do our best for the club.”