Reds manager Nicky Law feels his side’s third season at Conference Premier Division level will be the hardest yet.
The Alfreton boss thinks the four clubs who have come up into the division will make life very tough.
He said: “It is certainly going to be harder this time around. Chester, FC Halifax, Welling United and Salisbury City are much more affluent and more stable than the clubs who have gone down.
“In my honest, humble opinion, the four that have come up will make it tougher, you just have to look at the gates they get.
“And relegated clubs Aldershot Town and Barnet will certainly be on a par with the two that have gone up.”
Law remains confident in Alfreton’s ability to survive but admits he is going to have to be patient in his search for new players.
“I don’t want to be going into pre-season in three weeks’ time with nine players, but we are going to have to be patient and we may have to take the odd chance on the odd player who is unproven at this level,” he said.
“We have to wait and bide our time, it is not the game you want to play, but unfortunately it is how we have to do it, we have always done it like that and it is going to be like that again this season.”
The Reds boss can only look on as several of the bigger clubs in the division have splashed the cash and done their business early.
“Some players are not signing at clubs at this stage of the season for the love of it, they are doing it for financial reasons. There are some clubs who last season were ‘in serious danger of going under’ but they have also brought several new players in already.
“We have to wait, be patient, be a bit more selective and they have to be the right type of players for us as well.
“With Bradley Wood coming in, hopefully if we can get two or three more quality players we will be alright.
“At the end of the day we don’t get many more than 500 coming through our gates. That needs to change for us to go and compete more and until that changes, we have to do what we do,” he said.
One man Law will have to make do without next season is Anton Brown. The utility man has ended seven years with the club by opting to drop into Conference North with Harrogate Town.
And striker Nathan Arnold could also be missing from next season’s squad.
Law added: “Nathan is out of contract. At nearly 26, he thinks this might be his last chance to have a go in the Football League. At the minute he doesn’t want to talk about next year with us, he sees it away from us.”