BULLISH midfielder Lewis Hogg believes that a rejuvenated Gloucester City can challenge for the Conference North play-off next term.
Playmaker Hogg and striker Charlie Griffin have both agreed deals with the Tigers for the 2014/15 season, and the experienced pair are excited about the future.
Both players were instrumental in the Tigers’ revival under Tim Harris in the end-of-season run-in last term. With Griffin smashing home nine goals in 16 games.
And with prized-asset Jack Harris tied to a new two-year contract and two new faces already on board ahead of the new term, former Bristol Rovers man Hogg can’t wait for the new term.
“In my opinion we have the quality to be aiming for the play-offs,” Hogg said. “We showed in the latter end of last season that we can cope with any team in the division so why not?
“The last two seasons’ we’ve had great runs in the FA Cup and obviously that’s something we’d love to do again.”
“But since Tim came in, he’s rejuvenated the squad and over the summer he’ll bring in a few additions, so it’s interesting,” noted Hogg.
Former Swindon Town, Forest Green and Stevenage striker Griffin was signed by former City boss Dave Mehew in February, but hit form under his replacement Harris.
The vastly-experienced 34-year-old was the chief beneficiary of a new adventurous style adopted under former Newport County boss Harris, and expects more of the same next year.
“I’m sure we’re hoping for a massive improvement on last season, when Tim came in he set out what he wanted from us as a squad and we delivered,” Griffin said.
“I’m hopeful that we’re going to hit the ground running from the beginning of the season and who knows where it’ll take us.
“The thing that I loved as a striker was the amount of chances we create, it’s entertaining attacking football and it’s great to be a part of.
“Tim was a breath of fresh air and gave the squad a new lease of life when it needed one, and we reciprocated when the change was needed, it’ll be an exciting season.”
“I’ve played against Gloucester many times in the past and they always had great support, so when I came in and the fans embraced all of us, it was a massive factor for me.”
The Tigers have finalised their pre-season programme ahead of the kick-off of the Conference North campaign on Saturday, August 9.
The Tigers will play Cinderford Town at the Causeway on Tuesday, July 15 before hosting Newport County – also at Cinderford – on Saturday, July 19.
Conference Premier clubs Hereford United and Bristol Rovers will both visit Whaddon Road, with the Bulls providing the test on Tuesday, July 22 and Rovers on Saturday, July 26.
A game at Pegasus Juniors on Tuesday, July 29 and a trip to the seaside to face Weymouth on Saturday, August 2 completes the pre-season schedule.