The Yellows will kick off their East Midlands Counties League campaign on Saturday, September 12, hosting Shirebrook Town at Watnall Road.
And boss Graves believes that if the club can follow the same ethos from top to bottom, then things will fall into place on the pitch.
"There's a couple of new lads still trying to force their way in, but we have said this season we want competition for every place," he said.
"When we won the league and got promoted the year before last, that's because we got the players in the reserves playing regularly and the way we wanted them to play.
"It meant they could step up and made things competitive. We want to be back in that position.
"We weren't quite there last year as we had to go with a very young reserve side and it was our first season after being promoted.
"We know where we need to be a little bit more."
While Graves is more than happy with the core of players he has assembled, he wants his fringe players to know they remain in his thoughts.
"The lads know they’re at a good club, we don't have grifters. Lads stay with us, we've built this team and we only add where we need to," he continued.
"We've got some very good promising lads who will probably start in the reserves, but I'm more than happy individually to bring them up when necessary.
"I'll give them a chance, all we ask for is patience. If they're patient and learn their trade more they'll progress more, as a lot of my lads have.
"I think we've got it right in that way, and we're a well-supported club as well which makes players want to stay with us."
Hucknall will host Dunkirk in a pre-season friendly tomorrow (Saturday), and Graves says his players still have a chance to stake a claim for a starting berth seven days later.
"We're more than happy at the moment with how things have gone," the manager said. "We've not finalised the starting XI yet. But we're happy with where we are."
Season tickets will be available from this Saturday, with 20 per cent discount for 2019-20 season ticket holders.