ROB Small admits he is sad to have seen a title-winning campaign consigned to history.

Small led Bowers & Pitsea into the Isthmian Premier League by romping home to the Isthmian North title.

And, while he is looking forward to seeing his side compete in the third tier of non-league football for the first time in the club’s history, Small remains keen to look back on an unforgettable campaign.

The Bowers boss said: “We’re fresh from winning the league, but we are preparing for a new season and last season is now history.

“It’s sad to be moving on from that because it was such a special season for us, but we are a progressive club and we will get to work.

“The players have been getting stuck into the training and we’re looking forward to facing the big boys of the Isthmian Premier League.

“There are new teams to play, new managers to face and new players to go up against, so there are lots of challenges for us.

“We’re relishing those challenges and we can’t wait for the season to start.

“As a team, we have progressed quicker on the pitch than perhaps the club as a whole.

“It’s important that we consolidate and give a good account of ourselves this season.”

Bowers returned to pre-season training last week and they will compete in their first friendly on Friday, when they are set to welcome League Two side Colchester United to the Len Salmon Stadium.

And Small is pleased to be working with his title-winning side again after the summer break.

Small, who has now won two promotions during his Bowers tenure, added: “Pre-season has come around very quickly and it doesn’t feel long ago that we were picking up the Isthmian North trophy.

“But it’s good to be back in training and the players seem to be enjoying the sessions we have been putting on to get them back to full fitness.

“We have come back from winning the league and the attitude was very good in the first training session.

“It was like we had never been away and that was very pleasing to see.

“We want to hit the ground running in what will be a difficult league.”

Bowers have made a couple of alterations to their pre-season schedule.

The planned friendlies with Basildon United and Saffron Walden Town on July 26 and 27 respectively will not go ahead.