BRAINTREE Town's Cressing Road headquarters is 'open for business' again, writes DAVID WARD.

Covid restrictions forced an early end to the club's Vanarama National League South campaign on the field and the lengthy closure of the clubhouse for supporters.

But with government restrictions now easing, the Iron are reopening the clubhouse and bar starting with every Thursday, where table service will be available enabling supporters and local people to enjoy meeting again with a pint.

Abiding by all the current hospitality rules under Covid, the club sees it as a chance for fans to at last 'get to know their club again' after the enforced shutdown.

Plans are also in hand in the near future to organise special evening entertainments, which have proved so popular in the distant past.

For the latest on Braintree Town activity at the ground, check out the club's social media links: Twitter - @braintreetownfc, Facebook - @braintreetownfcofficial and Instagram - @braintreetownfcofficial.

"The club wants to re-engage again with fans and local people ahead of the new playing season which officially starts on Saturday, August 14 and we're looking forward to welcome both old and new friends to the club," said a club spokesman.

"Like all such football clubs it's left a huge void during the lockdowns and obviously the club has suffered financially with no income either on weekday evenings or on actual matchdays.

"There are several new initiatives under way to help the club both recover and progress even before the big kick off and everyone involved is keen to see a return to having fans back in the ground on match days and evenings - they've been missing for far too long."

With manager Ryan Maxwell still busily building his new look squad for next season and several players already committing themselves to the club, a series of pre-season friendlies are also planned.

The Iron's first scheduled friendly will be against near neighbours Bishop's Stortford on Saturday, July 10.

Other attractive fixtures, including against Football League opposition, are also in the pipeline and they will be revealed once confirmed while the players themselves, many of whom have kept training during the close season, will start their first serious pre-season under the manager's guidance in a fortnight's time.

With the Cressing Road pitch having been completed re-seeded by the 'Lawn Doctor' groundsman supporters and volunteers are now starting to work, initially on Saturday mornings, in tidying up the surrounds of the stadium and carrying out renovation and repainting.

"Anyone who wants to give a hand with the jobs on a Saturday morning are always welcome because the more hands that help will get the jobs done quickly," added the spokesman.

"There's plenty to do and every little bit of effort helps."

The Cressing Road floodlights are also being improved so they like the rest of the terracing and facilities meet the official level required for the club to continue to be able play at the Vanarama National League South level.

The club is also looking for any local firms wanting to help sponsor the team in the coming season in any way possible again to ensure that Conference level football can continue to be played at Cressing Road.