Ystrad Rhondda finished the SWALEC League One East season in second place behind champions RGC 1404 last season and coach Dylan Jones is looking for more of the same in terms of performances, league finish and player development.
"We over-achieved our expectations last season," said Jones. "We had targeted a top-six finish, we made a good start to the season and we were in the race for the title with RGC at the end, playing a good style of rugby too.
"Our aim has to be to build on that, along with developing more players to better themselves. It was great to see our player Alex Webber starring on the international Sevens circuit.
"It's back to square-one now though at the start of the season and we will no doubt be one of the teams everyone wants to beat having done well last season."
Ystrad begin their league campaign away to former Premiership side Glamorgan Wanderers on September 7.
Jones added: "It couldn't get much harder. The Wanderers have a proud history, having played in the top division, but it will be an ideal opportunity to gauge how well prepared we are for the season ahead.
"The beauty of this league is that there are local derbies and great matches to look forward to almost every week. After the Wanderers game, we are at home to Rumney, a very well established side in this league, then away to Rhydyfelin, the side that knocked us out of the SWALEC Plate in the semi-finals last year.
"Everyone in this league plays for pride and because they want to win. They are three tough fixtures at the start of the season but we need to gain something out of them if we are to match or improve on last year's efforts."
Along with the league, Ystrad Rhondda are also keen to continue to do well in the SWALEC Plate.
Jones said: "We have lost twice in the semis so it would be brilliant to go one step further and earn a day out at the Millennium Stadium for our squad and supporters. The league is our bread and butter but a good cup run again would be the icing on the cake."
Elsewhere in SWALEC One East, promoted Nelson host Penallta in a first round local derby with fellow promoted side Bedlinog travelling to Rumney and Gilfach Goch taking on Treorchy. Last season's Plate finalists Rhydyfelin take on Ynysybwl and Plate champions Heol y Cyw travel to Merthyr."
Cwmllynfell, who finished second to champions Tondu in SWALEC One West last season, are gearing up for a strong start too. They travel to Waunarlwydd on September 7 before welcoming Loughor and Kidwelly to Bryn Park and club secretary Eirion Richards believes those games, along with the rest of the September fixtures, will be key to determining the success of the season for the side.
He said: "Last season was brilliant. To finish second in the league and reach the semi-finals of the SWALEC Plate couldn't have been much better and if we can achieve that again, we'll be more than happy. However, I think the league is going to be very competitive this season. You've got the likes of Whitland, who have come down from the Championship, Builth Wells and Crymych who have come back up and will want to establish themselves at this level.
"We lost our last three games last season but having reached the Plate semi, the top two in the league and the final of the west Wales Cup, our squad was fairly stretched.
"The vast majority of the squad is from within a few miles of the club and it is practically unchanged from last season under head coach Martin Harris who is a former captain of the first team.
"It's vital we make a good start to the season. We lost to Waunarlwydd in the first and last game of the season last year so we certainly won't be underestimating them but it's important that we do well in the first four or five games to set us up for the season."
Carmarthen Athletic, who finished third last season, host promoted Crymych in the first round of fixtures, while Builth Wells, who have also come up from Two West, travel to Glynneath. Whitland, who have dropped down from the SWALEC championship, travel to Loughor, Ammanford host Kidwelly and Kenfig Hill take on Llangennech.
There are 24 leagues in total, along with the SWALEC Championship. There is one less division than last season but all the clubs from last season's SWALEC League Seven have been re-organised into the four Division Six leagues with the expectation that those divisions will be more competitive and with a better geographical spread.
To download pdfs of all SWALEC National League fixtures 2013/14, click here