Signings search starts for boss
BRAINTREE Town are looking to tie up two new signings by next week as manager Alan Devonshire looks to bolster a squad that has lost some key players.
Already in the close season Ben Wright, who was last season's top-scorer, and Jai Reason have departed the Amlin Stadium.
Now Devonshire is looking to flesh out the bones of his squad with pre-season training under two weeks away.
"I'm talking to a couple of players this week," he told the Chronicle.
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"There might be one going out too but I'm not sure yet.
"I know the areas I want to improve; last season Ben and Jai scored 30 goals between them and Ben had one of the best assists records in the league and that's something we have got to look at."
Another element of concern for Devonshire was the 46 goals the Iron let in away from home last season.
He'll be looking to tighten up the back line but without abandoning the attacking principles that gained them an excellent 12th place finish last term, their first in Blue Square Bet Premier.
"We conceded more away from home and we've got to look to try and tighten up," he said.
"Of course, at the end of the day, all teams want to conceed less goals. I decided to really attack the league last year because I though our strength was in our attacking players and I think the same going in to this season.
"Maybe away from home we'll have to look at being more counter-attacking."
Inevitably Devonshire is keen to avoid relegation, a dreaded curse that often follows after a successful season in a higher league.
He thinks teams will come to Braintree and be harder to break down than last season.
"All games are different," he said.
"We had some great results at home last season and that's something we want to keep going.
"People will come here next season and know the way we play at home and sit back at us, it's up to us to combat that."
Despite the difficulties of operating on the same limited budget as last season and being one of the few semi-professional clubs in the division Devonshire is confident they can repeat last season's heroics.
"It's no good me worrying about the season," he said.
"That's the sort of thing that would transfer on to the players anyway.
"We'll give it a good go. Our first target is to reach that 50 point mark as quickly as possible.
"It's tough with the budget that I've got but I'm not complaining about it."
The Iron start their pre-season fixture calendar in three week's time with a trip to Long Melford but for the manager the results in those games isn't important.
"For me it's all about players getting their sharpness and their fitness back," he said.
"Pre season is going to be hard."