DARREN Manning insists he does not feel he needs to make wholesale changes to his squad as Hullbridge Sports prepare for life in the Isthmian North.

Sports clinched the Essex Senior League title on the final day of the campaign and will ply their trade in the fourth tier of non-league football for the first time in the club’s history.

And Manning feels the players who enjoyed success at the Ryan’s Heating Stadium last term deserve the chance to show what they can do at a higher level.

“We are content with what we have got,” said Manning, who led Sports to silverware in his first full season at the helm.

“My main aim has been to keep the squad together.

“The players deserve to be here and they have already proved their worth to me.

“They have also proved their commitment by agreeing to stay with us and that is fantastic.

“I’m not looking to make a lot of new signings because I’m pleased with the options I already have.

“There may be a few players that join us, but I’m definitely not going to make wholesale changes.”

Hullbridge have also announced their pre-season schedule as they prepare for the big kick-off in August.

Due to improvements being made to Sports’ Ryan’s Heating Stadium home, Manning’s outfit will be on the road for all of their friendlies.

After beginning their preparations at White Ensign, who will host their home fixtures at Great Wakering Rovers’ Burroughs Park in the forthcoming campaign, Hullbridge are set to make the trip to Hertfordshire to face Baldock Town.

An eye-catching clash with Barnet’s academy will also go ahead, along with meetings at Woodford Town, Hertford Town and Hornchurch.

And Manning is pleased with the calibre of the sides Sports will take on.

“We wanted to get a nice mix of sides to face as we prepare for the new season,” added Manning.

“It was difficult to arrange friendlies because, for a while, we didn’t know what league we would be in due to the restructuring.

“We’re close to those working at Hornchurch and the Barnet academy.

“I also wanted us to have a longer away trip so that the lads could get used to travelling to matches on a coach.”