PROGRESSION is the key word for Swindon Supermarine manager Lee Spalding ahead of the first game of the Southern League Premier Division South season on Saturday.

Marine host Walton Casuals at the Webbswood Stadium as they look to improve on last season’s 11th-place finish.

Spalding has re-signed several members of the squad that finished last season in a respectable mid-table position while adding fresh faces such as Kane Simpson and son Louis Spalding to bolster their ranks.

And following a strong results in pre-season against several non-league clubs – as well as respectable performances against Football League opponents Swindon Town and Forest Green Rovers – Spalding is itching to finally show how far his squad has come when they return to competitive action this weekend.

He said: “I think we’ve got a tough start. Walton Casuals will be decent but we’re all looking forward to it.

“You can tell by looking around that everyone in the group just wants to get going now.

“Pre-season has been good for us and I’ve seen a lot of positives, but we’re now at the stage where we’re playing for something.

“It’s case of starting well, and I think it’s good that we’ve got a home game first up in that sense.

“It’s a good chance to put a marker down and show how far we’ve com.”

Following Conor McDonagh’s return to action after recovering from a broken foot, Spalding has the rare luxury of choosing from a fully-fit squad for the opening fixture of the season.

The Marine boss reported his squad to be in good spirits this week in training and insists the squad of 19 at his disposal have the mental and physical capabilities to achieve the targets that have been laid down for them this season.

Spalding said: “Unbelievably, everyone is fit, and I’ve got a full squad to pick from.

“That’s great for me because I have the opportunity to pick whichever 16 players I think can help us get the win.

“The most important thing for us this season is to make some progression on last season.

“For us to do that, it’s important that everyone in the squad is pulling together.

“The camp is in good spirits and they’re all excited for the new season.

“We’ve spoken about what we’re looking to do, and I think we’re more than capable of making sure we achieve a top-10 finish and progressing from last season.”