Fraserburgh boss Mark Cowie believes his players can make a greater challenge for the Highland League title next season.
The Broch’s championship hopes for this season appear to be over after losing 2-1 to leaders Brora Rangers on Saturday.
Although the Buchan outfit have four games in hand, they now trail the Cattachs by 20 points.
With his squad signed up for next season, the manager, Cowie, believes the Broch will be stronger again.
The Bellslea gaffer said: “We’re always looking to strengthen, but I think the guys need to go the next step.
“They need to find something in themselves and we spoke about it on Saturday because I think we angered Brora by scoring and you saw their reaction.
“It was the reaction of champions to get the equaliser and then the winner.
“The winner was maybe fortunate because on another day we’re in a better shape and it doesn’t happen.
“But because we needed to win they caught us on the break.
“It’s difficult because there are a lot of big teams in the area looking for the same players and there’s not a lot of top players available.
“But we’ve everybody tied up and we’ll have the same squad for next season and beyond.”
He continued: “We can maybe tidy one or two things up but there’s the players and a group of senior players who can take that next step and get us there.”