HEATHENS boss Will Pottinger has warned the National League will be far more competitive this season.

Pottinger lead his team to the top-of-the-table last year, finishing four points clear of eventual Champions Mildenhall, while third-placed Isle of Wight were a massive 17 points behind the top two.

But the Heathens boss is sure that gap will not be repeated in 2013.

Pottinger said: “I think the National League will be a lot tighter and more even.

“There is a fair spread of the riders this year, whereas last year there was ourselves and Mildenhall a cut above the rest really.

“When you look at the other teams, Isle of Wight have got Adam Ellis who could be a real trump card at reserve, Coventry are new to the league and have got some good riders, and Stoke have some good riders such as Lee Smart who used to ride for us.

“I expect Mildenhall will be up there again, and the matches between us should be really interesting with the extra twist that our former captain Jon Armstrong is riding for them now, while we have two ex-Mildenhall riders in Lewis Blackbird and Gareth Isherwood.”

Heathens enjoyed several high-scoring results in their home meetings at Monmore Wood last season, which will be almost impossible to repeat.

But despite the fact he believes the league will be more even, Pottinger is confident that his refurbished side can take the title.

He added: “I’m really happy with how the team has come together.

“When the season ends we look forward to a bit of a break, but once the new year is over — we just want to crack on with it.

“As long as we can maintain a good home record, take a couple of wins away from home and keep some consistency I don’t see why we can’t finish in the play-offs.

“As we know from last year it’s what happens in the play-offs that matters most, so you need to make sure you finish in the top four.”