Epping United’s preparations for the new season came to an end with an excellent 13-1 victory over Buckhurst Hill Reserves last week.

A whopping 18 signings have been made by the side ahead of their new campaign in the Essex Olympian League Senior Division Two campaign, two levels above where they played last season after being granted a ‘double promotion’ along with league champions Corinthians.

Among those signings is midfielder Joey May, who joins from Essex Senior League side Redbridge, while former player Liam Clifton has been promoted to a role as a first team coach.

Epping will begin their season this weekend against Rawreth, based in Wickford, and manager Billy Cove is looking forward to the challenge in a higher division after a successful summer.

He said: “We have had a busy time recruiting players over the summer as I felt we needed to strengthen the squad pretty much all over, and with the five substitute roll on roll off rule coming into effect this season, it’s important to have a strong 16-man squad for each game which is something I thought we were lacking last season.

“It’s been another long pre-season which has given me plenty of time to look at different players and formations that we could use this season.

“We will be aiming to bring some silverware to the club this season, and I would like us to mount a serious challenge on the league. We certainly have the players to make that a reality.

“Hopefully the local community will get behind the team this season and it would be nice to have a packed Stonnards Hill on Saturday, September 7 when we face last season’s league winners Corinthians in the cup.”

Club chairman Chris Ottaway is also excited for the coming campaign, saying: “We have had a very active pre-season with Billy running flat-out. If you get back what you put in, we should do very well this season as Billy just hasn’t stopped since the end of the last campaign.

“Now that the new season is upon us, we are all really hoping for a great year with more silverware – let’s hope we achieve it.”