Ilkeston FC head coach Paul Holland was pleased to have been able to see his side tested against quality opposition after the Robins were beaten by Notts County on Saturday.
Despite seeing Ilkeston lose 4-0, Holland saw the game as another useful learning curve for his players as they continue their preparations for the new season.
And with four weeks still to go before Stafford Rangers visit on the NPL’s opening day, Holland knows there is plenty of time for fine tuning.
He said: “We’re grateful to Notts for bringing such a strong side as it gave us a good opportunity to work on our defensive shape, something we need to do given we’ll have some tough opponents in the coming season.
“It also gave our players the chance to see what they have to aspire to if they’re looking to use Ilkeston as a stepping stone towards getting into the pro game.
“It’s important we don’t get disheartened from results like this as they mean nothing. The three games we’ve had so far have given us different challenges and we’ve got lots from them.
“There are negatives of course but we have lots of time to work on those before the visit of Stafford on August 13.”