CONCORD Rangers’ new manager Adam Flanagan says it promises to be a challenging summer as he gears up for his first ever season of Conference South football.

Flanagan was appointed as successor to long-term manager and new Braintree Town chief Danny Cowley last week, having led Brentwood Town to Ryman One North play-off glory against Thurrock.

The 37-year-old, who used to play for Concord and has played more than 700 career games, took Town from relegation candidates in 2013/14 when he took over to the top of the division this year, finishing fourth before winning promotion through the play-offs.

The hierarchy at the Beach Boys did not overlook the achievement, with chairman Antony Smith contacting led Town to the Ryman Premier League.

He said he is looking forward to stamping his own authority on the team, while impressing the importance of keeping its core values.

“It is great as I want to push on as a manager,” said Flanagan. “I felt what we did this season at Brentwood was similar to what Concord did a few seasons ago.

“Concord has probably made more progress than any other club in Essex in recent years. It is really impressive.

“Dan had left and the manager’s position was vacant but I didn’t give it much thought. I am sure Ant wanted to get a replacement in quickly and who knows what would have happened if Brentwood would have lost the play-off final!”

“I have spoken to all the players and it is great that a number of them have already signed on for next season. Some of them are ambitious and are looking to play at a higher level and some may be waiting to see who signs but I am confident of keeping together a very good squad.

“I have never been in a position of having to hold onto players over the summer as last summer everyone thought Brentwood would be at the bottom of the league!”

Having also played for the likes of Hastings United, Dartford, Folkestone Invicta, Billericay Town and Maldon & Tiptree before taking up a coaching role at Aveley, Flanagan admits he will still be looking for guidance as he continues to climb the management ladder.

He insists he won’t be rushed into appointing an assistant manager and adds he doesn’t want to make large scale changes to the team, although he wants more goals next season.

“Goals win you games and of Concord’s defeats last season many were by the odd goal. If you turn those defeats into draws the team would have been in the play-offs.

“The spirit at the club is great and that is something that must stay.

“I work very hard on man-management and am a good communicator and maybe that comes from being a player not too long ago.

“I am not the finished article yet and there is no doubt this is a big jump but it is a challenge I am ready to take on.”