Player-coach Frank Taggart says survival and consolidation will be the chief aim for Brighton Blues in their first season in London and South East Premier.

Blues began training for the new campaign this week at Waterhall after capping their 150th anniversary season by securing securing promotion via the play-offs last term.

Taggart and director of rugby Tudor Ellis are under no illusions about how demanding the next step will be but are quietly confident Blues can hold their own at level five.

“The target will be to stay in the league. I’d be very naïve to say we’re going to look for promotion again”, said Taggart. “We’re a club with aspirations but we are realistic as well.”

Ellis added: “We have to consolidate a position in the league and the stretch target is for teams to see us as a potential banana skin.

“I want teams to come here with a level of uncertainty.”

Blues are in the process of recruiting to bolster their squad but have warned they only want players who are there for the right reasons.

Taggart said: “We’re looking to get some overseas players too. The problem is with the Kiwi guys is their season is ongoing and it’s about getting visas in place.

“But we have met with a couple of guys who could be great additions. It is a case of getting those finalised and making sure they are happy with the move and so are we.

“The club has a number of teams and are competitive with our first and A team but we also have social teams as well. We’re a club that is aspiring to push on but also welcomes players at all levels.

“Now we’re a National Three side we want to attract the players that can help is push on but also expand and strengthen the depth. ”

Ellis insists promotion will not change the ambitious club’s approach.

He said: “Everything we have done has been planned and what we don’t want to do now, just because we got promotion last season, is change everything we do in regards the ethos of the rugby club.

“The club is a community rugby club and we want to offer rugby to anybody who wants to play it irrespective if they want social rugby or a decent standard in national leagues.

“As Frank said, we have some overseas players but we don’t have a policy to just go and recruit overseas players and suddenly fill our ranks with paid for guys that are effectively mercenary in their approach.

“Everyone who joins the club needs to understand that first and foremost it is about the team and the environment as opposed to the individual.”

Although there will be plenty of new hurdles to overcome, Ellis reckons he knows what the biggest will be.

Ellis said: “The genuine challenge is that we continue to enjoy our rugby and don’t forget it is all about being a rugby club as opposed to trying to achieve something that is unachievable.

“The RFU governs what clubs are allowed to pay players at various levels and sets caps. There are some clubs who have a lot more money.

“We run as a commercial enterprise and don’t have deep pockets so people will be coming in because they want to play rugby.

“The challenge is maintaining a standard of rugby that allows us to continue to play in this division when we’re stacked up against clubs that don’t have our approach and will go up to the spending cap.”

Ellis added: “The other big challenge is the physicality of the game is going to be far more intense so we will need the in-depth resource so when injuries occur we have the ability to maintain the standard of rugby that is required.”

They begin their new campaign at their Waterhall base on September 7 against Hertford and Taggart insists only then will results count.

Taggart said: “We have three tough pre-season fixtures against Horsham at home and then Brentwood and Westcliff away but I am not fussed about the results.

“It will be about the development we’re gaining as a team.

“It’s about putting ourselves in the best possible position against Hertford on the first day.”