Lurgan Celtic kick off their season with a League Cup tie at home to Bangor on Saturday.
The Hoops have a good record over the Seasiders, winning all three of their meetings last season.
However, manager Colin Malone is concerned at his pre-season which has not gone according to plan.
“To be honest our build-up has been hampered by players not being available for one thing or another and that means we are not where we want to be,” said Malone.
“It will be a decent game with Bangor, but the League Cup is not our top target. We will try and win the game, but all our focus and energy will be in the league.
“It is going to be a tough season with a number of teams all feeling they have a chance to push for promotion.
“We lost a number of players to Portadown and that has damaged us somewhat. Had we been able to keep them then I would have been confident we would be in the mix. Now we will have to wait and see how we cope without them and how the new players settle in.
“Sometimes it takes a while for new signings to gel and it will take a few weeks to see just what we might be able to aim for.”
The Championship One league campaign sees Lurgan Celtic begin with a trip to Loughgall on August 13.
The League Cup tie on Saturday at Knockramer Park starts at 3.00pm.