Skipper's praise as Greens' youngsters start to flourish
As one of the senior statesmen of the Scunthorpe squad, Tom Foster is well placed to judge on how the Greens can fare.
The skipper has seen many changes at Heslam Park over the years, but a key feature in recent seasons has been constant progress.
And Foster is confident 2012/13 will be no different.
Two last minute victories, against Mansfield and most recently Longton, have seen Scunthorpe show their fighting spirit from the off – something they are likely to need more of in a tough National Three Midlands division.
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"I've been really pleased with how we've started," said Foster, whose team welcome South Leicester this weekend.
"It's going to be a really tough season, the standard's really high this year.
"We're going to have to be at 100 per cent week in, week out if we're going to pick up results.
"Ampthill, Sutton Coldfield and Nuneaton look like they're going to be the teams to beat.
"Last season, Manchester and Old Northamptonians were the whipping boys, you could almost guarantee you'd pick up a win against them.
"There doesn't seem to be a team like that this season."
Despite challenging in the top half of the table for the majority of last term, having aimed to finish fifth, the Greens had to settle for ninth place.
This season, the target is simply to improve on that.
"We've set targets as a squad," Foster explained. "We set a short-term target of winning three of our first four games and we're on course to do that.
"Long-term, because of the standard of the league, we want to improve on last year's finish and points tally.
"The togetherness in the squad is better than ever.
"We've still got a young team, but the younger players have got a couple of years behind them now.
"They're becoming more vocal in the changing room and on the pitch.
"It's really positive and I can only see us going one way, and that's up.
"We seem to have a lot more strength now.
"In the past we've tended to rely on Woody (Rewiti Vaimoso) or myself to pick up points, but already we've had a number of different scorers."
Given retirement unexpectedly crops up in conversation with Foster, that can be no bad thing.
"I'm 31 and I'm beginning to feel it a little bit now," he laughed.
"I'm a little bit older now and I've probably not got too many seasons left at this level, so I just want to enjoy it and do the best I can.
"This is my fifth season as captain and I think we've really made progress year on year. That's something we're looking to do this season as well."