BRAINTREE Town are all set to kick off their pre-season friendlies away to Eastern Counties League side Newmarket Town this Saturday, writes DAVID WARD.

Iron manager Ryan Maxwell is expected to play several trialists, alongside his new signings.

Maxwell said: "We've had some good, tough training sessions under our belt but this will give us a first opportunity to look at players plus several trialists in a competitive environment.

"We've had several potential new players attending our sessions along with our new signings and those retained from last season.

"We follow this first outing with another away game at AFC Sudbury on Tuesday evening which means the two games are on astroturf playing surfaces which again will be useful for the coming season playing at grounds with it.

"I'm continuing to talk to potential new players and with the pre-season friendlies coming it will then give me a chance to assess them and other triallists.

"It's all going to plan at present and the players had a hard session last Saturday up at the Notley Country Park in Braintree where there were some tough hill work to complete and also space to play our football too."

Defensively the new side looks particularly strong and for this Saturday's opener is likely to see two fresh central defenders on show.

One is a newcomer to the club in Lance Akins, while the other is a returning favourite for Iron fans - Christian Frimpong.