DIRECTOR of football Andy Preece says his aim for the new season is simple - to close the gap further on champions The New Saints and secure another crack at Europe.

"The lads are very focused on doing well again this year and achieve that aim of qualifying for Europe and making any inroads we can on TNS," he says.

"I think we've got to make progression each year and so far we've managed to do that and that's what we'll be looking to do.

"I don't honestly think it's realistic that we should challenge TNS because what we've go to do is get as close to them as possible.

"If we do that then you're guaranteeing yourself second place.

"That's to to be our aim and if they slip up like we saw a couple of years ago and Bangor had such a great season, then we've got to make sure we're ready to take advantage of that."

Preece hailed the 2-1 win at Stockport County as one of the Wingmakers' best in pre-season.

"From start to finish there were some good performances from some of the younger lads like Jonny Spittle and Ellis Healing," he added.

"It was encouraging that the younger lads we have signed, who we are looking to more for the long term, look more than ready to play a part.

"It's up to the youngsters to do what thet're doing if they want a first team spot.

"I spoke to them all and said we're looking more long term than short term because we want to develop them.

"But if they're performing then they'll get that call-up a lot earlier than expected."