STEVE Butterworth is readying Great Wakering Rovers for one of their ‘hardest pre-season tests so far’.

Wakering are set to welcome Isthmian Premier League side Hornchurch to Burroughs Park tomorrow.

And Butterworth, who is preparing for his first full campaign as player-manager, believes the friendly is ideal for his Wakering side.

“It will be another good test for us,” said Butterworth, whose side suffered a 1-0 defeat to East Thurrock United in their last encounter.

“I have seen that they are among the favourites to win the Isthmian Premier League title, so they are expected to have a successful season.

“It will be one of our hardest pre-season tests so far, but we need that.

“You want difficult games in pre-season because that helps to prepare you for the campaign ahead.

“We have played a lot of teams so far who are below us in the pyramid and that has given us a good opportunity to get minutes into the players’ legs.

“But we now want to up the tempo and see the boys against teams who are either at a higher level or the same level as us.

“Hornchurch have a very good team and we’re looking forward to going head-to-head with them.”

Hornchurch, who are managed by former Southend United defender Mark Stimson, go into the clash having been consigned to a narrow defeat by National League South outfit Billericay Town in midweek.

The Urchins went ahead through George Saunders, but Billericay levelled through an own goal from Jordan Clark.

And an impressive Callum Kennedy free-kick ensured Billericay would record a 2-1 win.