Tommy Widdrington wants to build on one of the success stories of last season.

But the Eastbourne Borough boss is also happy with a secondary role of helping young players return to the professional game.

Against all expectations, Borough were challenging for the Conference south play-offs for much of last season before slipping away to finish tenth.

That was still an improvement on the previous season and was achieved despite a sizeable budget cut at Priory Lane.

Widdrington wanted to keep the bulk of that squad together and offered new deals to 11 players but has spent the summer having to rebuild after a number of unexpected departures.

Among them, three players moved up the pyramid including Frankie Raymond to Dagenham and Redbridge for an undisclosed fee and Jack Deaman to Cheltenham Town.

Widdrington is still assembling his squad and has signed four players this week including former Norwich, Barnet and Charlton midfielder Dean Sinclair who has agreed a short-term deal with a view to something more permanent.

Former Charlton striker James Walker has re-signed on non-contract terms along with another former Borough player in Marvin Hamilton and ex-Crystal Palace youngster Kiran Tinder-John.

Striker Elliott Charles, who has been on trial in pre-season, could also rejoin the club from Dover once he returns from a holiday but Stacy Long is unlikely to be signing.

Widdrington said: “I wanted more progress and we are definitely looking a little stronger physically, more worldly, even the players who were with us last season.

“Players like Richard Pacquette, Gavin McCallum and Dean Sinclair have been around the block and we needed that.

“I have had to bring in more players than I wanted to but it is an opportunity for new players to do what some of the others have done and step up.

“Not too many managers make it their job to help players move on. I want to progress our club but it gives me a warm feeling to helping young players get back into the pro game.”