A HUNGRY Bideford side are eager to prove themselves in their second season in the Calor League Premier Division.
After eight wins from nine pre-season friendlies, including an impressive 2-0 success against Bath City, the Robins are ready to kick off at Chesham United on Saturday.
Sean Joyce, the manager, has improved his squad with seven new signings over the summer.
"They have all come in and proved they want to be here," said Joyce. "I'm not saying we got stale last year but it's a tough old league, the football and the travelling does drain you. It's a massive commitment.
"Considering what we have got in budgetary terms, we are limited but we make up for it with big hearts."
Bideford stayed up on goal difference last season and with the number of relegation places increasing from two to four they are expecting another battle.
But Joyce believes the squad is better equipped to cope with the physical demands of the league.
"Four go down this season and we have just got to stabilise again," he said."We have got a bit of presence about us.We look an imposing team at the moment, we look like men, we look like athletes.
"We were small last year and I still want to keep that pace. I don't want to be a big unit where you just kick people all over the park."
Bideford look set for a significant test on the opening day against a Chesham side fancied to do well.
Matt Hockley, the captain, is unavailable because he is getting married and Nick Barker is attending the wedding.
Rob Farkins, last season's supporters' player of the year, is suspended and Matt Bye is doubtful due to work.
Saul Halpin, Ian Sampson and Ben Gerring are set to return after missing the final friendly against Bath.
Bideford were in excellent form against Bath, who play a league higher in the Skrill Conference South. Leading with first-half goals from Sean Downing and Farkins, they defended well for a seventh clean sheet from nine warm-up games.