JAKE Hutchings is confident that Braintree Town have the hunger that they need to excel in the Vanarama National League South this year.

The 23-year-old centre-back was one of the first players to be brought in by new manager Glen Driver as he looked to build a new Iron squad from scratch and he is encouraged by those who have followed him through the door at Cressing Road.

The former Leyton Orient trainee, who has also had spells at Torquay United and with Scottish Premier League side Hearts, feels there is quality within the group that Driver has put together, with young players having a desire to prove themselves in the second tier of non-league football.

He said: “I’ve been around football a long while and around teams and it definitely feels here that we can do well.

“I’ve never played at this level before, but I have been at higher levels and then I’ve been one level below for the last couple of years, so I know what to expect.

“I firmly believe that the boys we’ve got are easily good enough to step up and do the job.

“It is all about having the hunger.

“You get these boys and all they need is the chance.

“For whatever reason they may not have had the break they’ve needed and hopefully we can show why we should be at this level."

Hutchings has worked with Driver before when he was in charge at Leiston, so he is well aware of what the manager wants and expects from his players, but he also realises that others in the squad are having to learn fast in their pre-season games.

However, the defender knows that Driver has brought in players who he knows can do the job he wants them to and is confident that Braintree will be ready to face Bath City when the Vanarama National League South season starts on August 3.

He added: “We’re all learning new relationships with each other in this early part of pre-season as Glen has had to bring a lot of players together.

“It’s just about learning Glen’s philosophy and putting that into practice in games.

“He has only brought in players who will play that style of football, but he’s done his research and he knew the players that he wanted.

“It’s now down to us to carry out what he wants.

“I think the squad is definitely coming together.

“There are boys who have played together in the past and a few new relationships, but in every session and in every game, we are bonding more and more.

“I’m sure that by the time the first game comes round that we’ll be there."