SOUTHEND United defender Ollie Kensdale is setting his sights high with the Shrimpers this season.
Blues kick off the National League campaign against Boreham Wood at Roots Hall on Saturday.
And Kensdale wants the clash to be the start of a memorable campaign for Kevin Maher’s side.
“As a team we want promotion,” said the 22-year-old.
“We want to get back to where Southend belongs and that’s what our aim is.
“Individually I want to help the team as much as I can and play as many games as I can too.”
With such lofty expectations, the Shrimpers have worked hard throughout pre-season.
And Kensdale feels it has left the squad in good shape.
“It was tough but we got everything we need from it,” said the defender.
“We got a lot of game time and with some new faces coming in it was also about them learning patterns of play.
“But it’s put us in good stead for the start of the season now.”
Blues played eight warm up fixtures to be ready for the big kick off.
And Kensdale is pleased to see the back of the friendlies!
“Like everyone I don’t really like pre-season if I’m honest,” said the defender.
“It’s the boring part but when the first game comes around it’s the most exciting.
“You look forward to the next nine months and them being successful which hopefully it can be now.”
The Shrimpers face a tough looking start, with Boreham Wood also looking to be pushing for promotion this season.
But Kensdale feels Blues should be relishing the challenge.
“It’s a good start and if we’re going to be successful we have to be positive about these games,” said Kensdale.
“Boreham Wood, Solihull and Halifax is a hard start but we all think it’s a great start.
“We want to show everyone what we’re about.
“It’s a good fixture to open up with and hopefully we can show the fans what we’ve been working on in pre-season.”