Guernsey FC manager Tony Vance says he is once again likely to have a small squad at his disposal for the Isthmian League Division One South campaign.
The Sarnians have had up to 40 players with them during pre-season, but have struggled for depth in the past.
"Normally the first month is very strong with regards to everyone trying to fight for that shirt," Vance said.
"Unfortunately the Guernsey comfort zone means sometimes, when they don't get that shirt, they shy away a bit."
Vance told BBC Radio Guernsey: "I'd love to be in the situation that we're in January and we've still got 30 players trying to fight for a shirt, but reality and history proves that that won't be the case."
A restructuring of the Isthmian leagues means that there is an extra automatic promotion spot in the eighth tier this season, with only one team getting relegated.
The Channel Island side, who start their campaign at home to East Grinstead Town on Saturday, finished only one place above the drop zone last term.
"This season we want to improve, [but] we're realistic - we know the days of us flying up to win the league are certainly over for now," added club director Nicholas Legg.
"Would we be happy with mid-table? Right now, we'd snap your hand off."