GLENN Poole has admitted that he cannot wait to take on former employers Billericay Town in the Ryman Premier League next season.

Poole will appear in the third tier of non-league football after his Thurrock side got the better of Maldon & Tiptree in the Ryman North play-off final.

And the ex-Tottenham Hotspur trainee will keep an eye out for the trip to New Lodge when the 2017/18 season fixtures are announced in the summer.

Poole, 36, said: “Going back to Billericay wasn’t on my mind at all until one of my team-mates mentioned it after we won the play-off final.

“Playing at New Lodge again will mean a lot to me.

“I still have a lot of time for the club but it is totally different from when I left.”

Poole is looking forward to playing in front of bigger crowds after going up in the football pyramid.

“Some of the boys at Thurrock might not be used to playing in front of the bigger crowds, but it’s what football is all about,” added Poole.

“Billericay are getting big numbers through the gate now and so are teams like Dulwich Hamlet.

“It’s places like that you want to go and play football so we will be looking forward to it.”

While Poole’s current employers enjoyed a season to remember, two of his former clubs would rather forget the 2016/17 season.

Canvey Island and Grays Athletic were both relegated from the Ryman Premier League after disappointing campaigns, and will be looking to follow in Thurrock’s footsteps in finding a way out of the Ryman North.

Grays were consigned to the drop weeks before the season came to a close, while a 2-2 draw with AFC Sudbury on the final day of term sealed Canvey’s fate.

And Poole knows it will be difficult for both sides to bounce back from relegation and win promotion at the first time of asking.

Poole admitted: “The Ryman North is a very difficult league to get out of and there will be some big teams in there next season.

“It is sad to see former clubs on the slide.

“It was really important for us to go up this season because next season would have been even tougher with teams like Canvey, Grays, Maldon & Tiptree, Hornchurch and Haringey Borough all in the mix for promotion.

“It will be very difficult for them to go up at the first time of asking because there are so many good teams in that league who will feel like they have a chance of winning promotion.

“Going up this season was hard enough, but next year it will definitely be even more challenging.”