Cove Rangers manager John Sheran believes he needs to strengthen his squad this summer to stay ahead of their rivals.
The Aberdeen side won the Highland League with five matches to spare this season and racked up 90 points from 34 games.
Cove’s aim was to gain promotion into League Two but they lost out 3-2 to Cowdenbeath in the Pyramid Play-Off final – in controversial fashion.
Boss Sheran insists they can’t afford to rest on their laurels or they will be overhauled by other teams.
Already in the close season Inverurie Locos and Fraserburgh (who finished third and fourth respectively last term) have added to their squads.
Formartine United (who finished second) are also expected to strengthen and Brora Rangers have a new manager in Steven Mackay.
Sheran is hopeful of adding to his squad in the coming weeks in a bid to stay ahead of other sides in the league when the new season starts.
He said: “I think we do need to bring players in because we need to be stronger.
“Everyone else will be stronger so we need to be the same.
“We’ll probably lose one or two players so we do need to strengthen again and that’s what we’ll be trying to do.
“I think everybody else will be raising the bar so we need to try to do the same.
“You want to keep improving and we want to do that.
“We had a good season last year but everybody else will be stronger.
“Fraserburgh will be stronger, Formartine will be stronger, Inverurie will be stronger, Brora will be stronger and Rothes are signing a lot of players.
“There’s a lot of things happening and the landscape in the league is changing a bit so we need to be stronger and better as well.”
Sheran says Cove are working hard to add to their squad and hopes to make progress with signings in the coming weeks. He added: “We’re having a look and we’re working on one or two things.
“We’re busy trying to get our out-of-contract players signed up as well.
“We’re speaking to a number of people and we’ll see what happens over the next few weeks.”