BRAINTREE Town manager Danny Searle wants to revamp the way that the Iron’s reserve team operates.

The Iron’s second string play in Thurlow Nunn League division one south – in step six of the non-league football pyramid – but that’s five levels below where the first team currently sit.

And Searle said it wasn’t an environment he felt comfortable sending first-team players into if he needed them to gain game time when coming back from injuries.

Instead, he would rather have a reserve side playing in situations that he felt were more suitable to his and his players’ needs such as against under-18 and under-19 sides of Premier League and Championship clubs.

So, at a meeting with fans this week, he said it was something that would be looked at for next season.

The Iron boss said: “We are not building a club where it’s all about the first team but it has to be realistic.

“What has been happening is that first team players have not been in the reserves because I don’t want them to.

“The reason for that is that the level the reserves are at is so far below what the first team is and they are playing in environments where I don’t want them to be in.

“That’s no-one’s decision other than mine.

“However, the reserves have not been told they have to go and play somewhere else next year.

“The reserves train next to us so there is an interaction there but we are just starting and you can’t run before you can walk.

“What we are looking for the reserves next year is rather than playing in a league where it isn’t an environment we want to be in, we will be having organised friendlies whether it’s in an organised league with all the Essex clubs or, through my own connections, we’ll be playing under-18s and under-19s Premier League and Championship clubs.

“That’s what we hope will happen next year and that’s the plan going forward so our first-team players, if they do need minutes, then it will be in an environment we can control.”