BRAINTREE Town manager Ryan Maxwell has this week stepped up his search to add at least one experienced player to his new look National League South squad ahead of the new season, writes DAVID WARD.

The Iron boss is in serious talks with two players from a top National League side and is hopeful of signing them before the big kick-off, on August 12.

He said: "I would like to get one of them on board but it depends on several factors although they are both keen to come.

"They have been full-time players but now as they experienced and older and obviously looking to the future with a normal daytime work role so they would prefer to go part-time which fits in with our club plans.

"We'll obviously have to wait and see how the situation develops but I am also talking to other potential players too and who want to play for us, want to commit to our aims and are prepared to work hard as part of a team."

Maxwell put his players, including some trialists, through a tough first double training session last weekend, which they will repeat this Saturday.

He said: "Timed runs and other aspects of our programme will be a crucial factor in our fitness build up and we want to make sure all our players improve each week and are fully fit for the start of the season so we hit the ground running."

Maxwell had nearly 30 players at his first training session and now plans to also have Tuesday and Thursday evening sessions and is aiming to have the first in-house full training match on Saturday, July 3.

"Our first official pre-season friendly is away to AFC Sudbury on their artificial surface on Tuesday, July 6 with Bishop's Stortford coming to us on Saturday, July 10," he said. "That's a good start so we can build from there."

Maxwell also confirmed that other pre-season friendlies had been provisionally confirmed against Dagenham and Redbridge on July 17 and QPR on July 24t, both at Cressing Road, followed by an away game against Grays Athletic, who play at Aveley, on July 31.

A week before the league programme kicks off on August 7 it will be Peterborough Sports who will make their ever visit to Cressing Road.

"There are potentially another couple of friendlies but we will have to wait and see but there will be ample opportunities for us to have a serious look a several possible trialists," he said.

"The first priority is to get the players fit and ready to play their football."