Ardley United chairman Norman Stacey says he can’t wait for the season to start as the club looks to win the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division title for the first time.

Last season they were beaten to the title by Wantage Town, who won the championship by two points.

However, Ardley have lost five key players, including strikers Ryan Brooks, who left to join Didcot Town, and Steve Howkins to Easington.

Midfielder Stuart Bridges (to Royston), right back Dean Smith, who is building his own house, and centre half Ben Thomas, who is moving to America, have also left.

Murray Nicholls and Danny Bone are back, while Keiren Strange (Oxford City) and former Kidlington forward Diego Petriaggi have signed.

“Winning the title is the aim because there’s only one promotion place,” said Stacey. “We’ve already got the ground grading for the Southern League in place.”

He added: “I am pleased with the new signings, though it’s hard to assess them until they play.

“But I have seen Diego in training and he is good to watch. He just gets the ball and runs at people.”

Ardley start their season on Saturday when they host Cheltenham Saracens.

Stacey added: “I’m hopeful and excited about the new season.”