Boreham Wood begin their pre-season against Luton Town on July 22 and manager Luke Garrard has admitted “a positive start is key”.

The Hertfordshire side finished in the top half of the National League and will hope they can do one better during the 2017-18 campaign.

The Wood will go into next season in good spirits, but with former football league sides Hartlepool United and Leyton Orient dropping down from the Football League, the Wood boss will hope his squad do not falter against them.

Garrard told the Boreham Wood club website : “The League this season, in my opinion, is going to be the toughest since we were successful in gaining promotion to the National two years ago.

“You look at the two sides who got relegated, and the four teams that gained promotion, then add those to the existing big hitters at the level and you can see that a positive start is going to be key.

“We know as a group how important points on the board at the start will be and we will work hard throughout pre-season to ensure we can hit the ground running.”

With last season’s loan signings Anthony Jeffrey and Jason Williams both returning to their parent clubs, the 31-year-old knows he will have to start rebuilding his squad.

He said: “I can imagine the Wood Army are eagerly anticipating a few new faces, that is something that is definitely in progress.

“We currently have eight lads signed, which I’m very happy with and I feel that they are a great base for us to build on.

Morgan Ferrier recently stated his desire to move on from the Meadow Park based club and Garrard admitted he will prioritise the striking positions this summer.

“Strikers at this level, and in fairness any level, cost the most money, they have the task of doing the hardest thing in football, and that is scoring goals,” Garrard stated.

“I would love four top strikers but I have a budget I have to adhere to.

“So I will see if I can get two real top, top strikers and then hope I have enough for a third, where I feel competition will give them the drive to want to perform.”

Elsewhere, the pitch developments are still on-going with it likely to be finished ahead of Wood’s pre-season friendlies schedule.