BURNHAM manager Paul Shone is quietly putting together a squad to challenge for promotion from Hellenic Division One East this season.

Shone could not keep the Blues in the Premier Division last term, but he is targeting a return at the first attempt and there has been a number of changes to the squad at The Gore.

Jack Raines, Dan Edwards and Dom Gossemna have signed having featured for Welling United in the FA Youth Cup. Welling got further than any other non-professional side in the competition.

The trio are all members of the United Select Academy in Iver as is Lucas Sinclair. He joined the Academy from Millwall having scored a hat-trick against Crystal Palace plus three in three matches on trial at Bristol City Under-23s.

Dan Molloy, Brad Holland and Adam Davies have all joined Burnham from local clubs, while Usman Lalustani has decided against a move to Ascot United and re-joined the Blues.

Shone told the Observer: “We’ve made a number of summer signings and not kept on many from last season. It’s a new squad built for an assault on promotion at the first attempt.

“We’ve signed some experienced people that have played in and won the league above, and also some good youngsters that will get an opportunity to develop in senior football.

“We have gone about our business quietly and I’m looking forward to working with what we’ve got.

“We’re definitely stronger when you consider the league table doesn’t lie. The players needed some guidance last season but maybe it was too late by the time I came into the club.

“All players want to win but it’s about how you go about it. It’s about having a winning mentality plus a hunger and desire.

"We've got experienced lads that have done it all before and younger ones that want to progress as well "We've a good mix of 18-22 players at training and don't want more than that because it's about those players that will be here all year and going forward as a club."

Burnham suffered a 6-0 defeat to Basingstoke Town from the Southern Premier Division in their latest pre-season friendly match on Saturday.

The Blues welcome Maidenhead United to The Gore this Saturday (11am) and then Oxford United on Monday (7.30pm).

Shone commented: "Pre-season has been good. Results are what they are but we had planned for it to be difficult. You never know what sides clubs are going to put put so results can come as a shock to some people.

"The scoreline didn't reflect the game last weekend and all together the performance was good. We wanted tough games against better sides and look forward to Maidenhead on Saturday."

"I'm quite confident that we will have anything in place and be ready for the challenge ahead. We're looking in good shape with three or four friendlies still to play and we will be ready come August 4."

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