BRENTWOOD Town manager Steve Witherspoon heaped praised on his new look side after they narrowly lost 2-1 to a Colchester United first team squad at the Arena on Saturday.
"The players did exceptionally well against an obviously more experienced side of full-time professionals," he said. "We didn't let ourselves down and played some good football at times and it was only tired legs at the end of each half when they really showed the difference."
Witherspoon went on: "We didn't know what side to expected against us but they had arrived with a full squad and had eight first teamers playing in the first half and seven in the second.
"We tried to play our football and Sherwin Stanley scored for us first and it was only tiredness that caused us to give away two sloppy goals right on half time," he continued. "The players had to dig deep but it was a great experience for them and they all coped really well."
Town, who go to Wingate & Finchley this Saturday for another friendly match, will certainly be a much stronger side in this coming season's Ryman League Division One North campaign.
"We're much stronger all round and I'm still looking to bring in another midfield player," said Witherspoon. "I also know we'll overcome our problem of not scoring goals as we did last season.
"Our home pitch is also looking the best it's ever been thanks to our groundsman so we'll have an ideal surface on which to play our feet football," he explained.
"I'm really confident looking ahead to the new season but we know it's going to be tough because there are clubs who are spending a lot of money to attract new players," added Witherspoon. "But we'll concentrate on what we do and I think we'll be far better equipped than we were this time last year."
Witherspoon believes that Town, who go to Canvey Island for another friendly on Tuesday, have a fitter and better quality squad with, crucially, competition for places.
"We'll also stick to our style of football but we have more options available to change the way we can play during a match if needed," he added.