HAVING just celebrated two years in charge of Hullbridge Sports, Darren Manning is keen to enjoy more success at the Ryan’s Heating Stadium.

Manning took over with Sports struggling in the Essex Senior League but, under the guidance of Manning, Hullbridge are now competing in the Isthmian North for the first time following last season’s title win.

Despite the achievements of his first 24 months at the helm, Manning insists more is still to come.

“It’s brilliant to have reached two years in charge of Hullbridge,” said Manning.

“So much has happened in that time, but it feels like it has flown by.

“The club is unrecognisable from when I joined and that’s something I’m very proud of.

“This is only the start and I feel we are only scraping the tip of the iceberg at the moment.

“I know we can achieve more and the potential the club has is ridiculous.”

Manning replaced former player-manager Rob Hodgson in the hotseat with Hullbridge second from bottom in the Essex Senior League standings.

And, although he believed he was the right man for the job, Manning is surprised by how quickly he has managed to change Sports’ fortunes.

“When I first took over, I wanted to make Hullbridge competitive in the Essex Senior League,” added Manning.

“I’m very ambitious, so I always aimed to progress up the pyramid.

“But I wasn’t thinking it would start happening this quickly.”

Having guided Hullbridge into the Isthmian North, Manning’s side have made an encouraging start to life in the fourth tier of non-league football.

Sports are currently 15th in the standings, seven points clear of bottom side Romford.

And Manning has strengthened his options with the additions of Shaye La-Rose and Michael Agboola.

La-Rose has made the move having come through the ranks at Premier League side Norwich City.

The midfielder has also been involved with Bowers & Pitsea at under-18 and under-23 level.

Agboola, meanwhile, has joined after seeing his time at Romford come to an end.

And Manning is pleased to have welcomed his latest recruits to the Ryan’s Heating Stadium.

“Shaye is a former Norwich academy product and was put forward by an agent I know well,” admitted Manning.

“He impressed us in training, so we are pleased to have him on board.

“Michael was at Romford and impressed while there.

“He was brought to my attention by some of his former team-mates and then he shone in training, so we were keen to get the deal done.

“I have been looking to shuffle the pack as it got a little stale and these two additions are part of that.”