Jamie Howell ended his first pre-season as Eastbourne Borough manager with a 4-1 win over local rivals Lewes ahead of Braintree Town’s visit on Saturday.
Following the departure of long-standing manager Tommy Widdrington to Coventry in April, Howell was appointed after winning promotion through the Ryman Premier play-offs with Bognor Regis.
The 40-year-old spent 20 years at Bognor, making over 420 appearances for the club before becoming manager and enjoying an FA Trophy semi-final two seasons ago.
With the long-term goal of promotion achieved, Howell sought a new challenge at Vanarama National League South Eastbourne, and has begun stamping his mark on the team.
Amongst his signings, high-profile midfielder Sergio Torres and striker Yemi Odubade have joined – and now they’re gearing up for the real thing on Saturday.
“I’d been at Bognor a long time, I loved it there and I just felt maybe I needed another challenge, a change of scenery and when Eastbourne came up it was something that really appealed to me,” he said.
“We have six useful pre-season games behind us, with steady progress throughout. I have narrowed down my squad and we are developing a shape and style of play. Lewes was a very good test and we came through pleasingly.
“A few things needed sorting out at half-time, at 1-0, but then we raised the intensity and got a lot of things right in the second half. We’ll be training hard this week and we are eager to get the season started.”