Gainsborough Trinity look like a club starting the new season on the right foot, writes Standard sports editor Graham Smyth.
The Blues are quickly becoming the example for clubs who want to exist at a decent level of the football pyramid without one very wealthy backer.
Trinity could have become a cautionary tale for what happens when a ‘money man’ walks away from a club.
Others have gone bust, dropped down the pyramid or simply ceased to exist.
But last season everyone at the club pulled together, a lot of time and effort was put into fundraising and crucially, Steve Housham and his men kept them in the Conference North.
The summer has seen the Northolme club strengthen further, with additions to the playing staff and perhaps more importantly, to the board of directors.
Those in charge have obviously decided that there is safety, and strength in numbers.
There has been a campaign to involve local firms, not only in the running of the club, but in terms of sponsorship and a mutually beneficial season ticket holder loyalty scheme.
Landlords The Blues Club seem to be completely on board with what Trinity are trying to do – no longer are the two parties at odds, as they were during the Peter Swann era.
The appointment of a press officer will help the Blues get word out about their existence and the regular fundraising activities that keep them afloat.
And further evidence of Trinity’s standing, and its vital role in the local community, was the presence of more than 70 kids at a four day soccer school on the Northolme.
Housham, directors Pete Wallace and John Myskiw and some of the players gave up their time to make the scheme a success.
It’s a good strategy – involve the kids, make them fans of the club, get them through the gates with their families, and watch the attendances increase.
You might even spot a player or two who will wear the blue in years to come.
But little touches like the provision of Trinity goodie packs for the soccer school attendees show that Trinity aren’t just in it for themselves.
As things appear to get better and better off the pitch, the hope is that it will be mirrored with on-field progression.
Housham retained an impressive core of last season’s side, and added to it with the likes of returning keeper Jan Budtz, veteran centre-half Adam Quinn and exciting youngster Conor Higginson.
The summer talk was all about improvement – they want to climb up the Conference North table this year.
And you can read all about their 2014/15 season in the Standard every week, as they try to ensure the future is Blue.