Peter Bore insisted he "would love" to finish above Grimsby Town next season as it would guarantee Lincoln City are fighting for promotion.
The defender believes nothing can stop the Imps from rivalling his hometown club for a play-off spot which the Mariners missed out on by nine points last term.
Bore has taken confidence from the way Lincoln ended the campaign when they won five, drew one and lost three of their final nine games.
If that form was applied to the season, it would have left Lincoln with 81 points which was enough to earn Luton the final play-off spot.
Although Imps boss David Holdsworth is operating with one of the lowest budgets in the club's history, Bore maintains they can still outgun their arch rivals.
"I would love to finish above Grimsby because it would mean we would be up there challenging next season," he said.
"They missed out on the play-offs, but they will no doubt be up there again.
"They may have a bigger budget, but I do not see any reason why we can't match them.
"Once our team was settled, the form towards the back end of the season was very encouraging.
"The manager has signed some good players so far and that's added to the strong nucleus already here.
"With a hard pre-season behind us and a decent start to the season, which is key, then hopefully we can be up there too."
Finishing above Grimsby would give Bore sweet satisfaction over the Mariners who released him a year ago after he rejected a new contract.
Subsequent trials at Bournemouth, Shrewsbury and Fleetwood followed before he was snapped up by non-league Harrogate Town.
Imps boss David Holdsworth quickly recognised the 24-year-old's quality, signing him on a free transfer from the Blue Square Bet North club in January.
He went on to score two goals in 11 games which was enough to earn him a fresh one-year deal which he penned last week.
Bore now hopes to resurrect a promising career that saw Grimsby hand him a staggering four-year deal in 2006.
"I had some very good times at Grimsby but that is in the past now – it's all about looking forward," he said.
"Harrogate was a bit of a transitional period for me and I learned a lot from it.
"But now I am hoping to reach the levels I know I am capable of at Lincoln.
“You know you need to be at your best because the manager is not afraid to make changes if not,” said Bore.
“He keeps you on your toes that way and I know he will look to get the best out of me.
“It may involve a lot of running, which will mean that I will curse a bit, but on a serious note I don’t mind that at all.
“If I get a good pre-season then hopefully I will be flying.”
Bore said his decision to sign his contract without delay was because of his experiences last summer.
More than a 1,000 players are expected to be looking for clubs who are shredding squads because of a lack of funds.
“I didn’t want to hang around and made my mind up quickly,” said Bore.
“It’s very tough and competitive out there so I’m just glad to get my deal sorted.”