DARREN Manning is relishing Hullbridge Sports’ trip to Hertford Town.

Hertford were involved in the Isthmian North before moving across to the Isthmian South Central two years ago.

And Manning feels the pre-season friendly is ideal preparation ahead of Sports’ first campaign in the fourth tier of non-league football.

“It will be a good test for us, said Manning, whose side were crowned Essex Senior League champions on the final day of last term.

“They are equivalent to us in terms of the level they play at and it will be good to gauge where we are at this stage of pre-season.

“It’s important to play against good teams in pre-season because it allows us prepare properly.

“Although they are not in the Isthmian North anymore, they were not too long ago and so they will know how other teams that we are preparing ourselves to face play.

“They will have players who have played in the Isthmian North before and so we will be able to test ourselves against players similar to those we will go head-to-head with during the season.”

Manning’s side have been put through their paces with a challenging pre-season programme.

Last weekend, Hullbridge overcame a promising Barnet Academy side, while they were also involved in two training sessions and a behind-closed-doors clash.

Sports then registered a 5-1 victory over Essex Senior League outfit Enfield in midweek and Manning will be hopeful of his outfit continuing their fine form.