CONFIDENT FC Clacton manager Kieron Shelley has “absolutely no doubt” his side can reverse their fortunes next season.

The Seasiders finished second from bottom in the Thurlow Nunn League premier division but avoided relegation after being granted a reprieve.

It means they are preparing for another year of step five football - beginning with a home match against Walsham-le-Willows on July 29.

And Shelley is confident there will be no repeat of last season’s struggle.

“I really hope we can go out there and surprise a few teams,” he said.

“We may have finished second from bottom last year but I’ve got absolutely no doubt we can turn things around.

“I’m that type of guy and you have to remember that all the clubs in our division are at the same level – otherwise they’d be playing higher up the pyramid.

“As the season pans out there will be those at the top and those at the bottom.

“But as we prepare to start out for another season, it’s a blank canvas and we’re all starting on an equal footing.

“We have to believe we’re as good as anyone and if we keep thinking that, and play without fear, we’ve got more chance of playing our natural game.

“We must go into every game believing we can win.”

Clacton continued their pre-season build-up with an 8-2 victory over Essex and Suffolk Border League neighbours Weeley Athletic, on Saturday.

Jamie Beecham netted a hat-trick and he was joined on the scoresheet by Louie Newland, new signing Terry Rymer, Wayne Chapman, Jake Hearn and Lewis Blanchett.

It followed last Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Gas Recreation, as Clacton came from behind to win thanks to goals from Beecham, Rymer and Zac Smith-Walter.

“We’re really trying hard to build up the team spirit,” added an encouraged Shelley.

“I hope the youngsters step up and realise and appreciate what an opportunity they’ve got here, to play step five football.

“The squad is looking sharp and everyone is applying themselves and throwing themselves into it.

“I’m really happy that I’ve got a group who genuinely want to be here and have the best interests of the club at heart.

“They want to make a name for themselves at Clacton.”

“We kept the ball well and our fitness was far superior on Saturday.

“This time last summer we drew 1-1 with Weeley.

“That puts this victory into perspective and shows the progress we’ve made.”

In addition to praising young trio Smith-Walter, Charlie Welham and Ben Justice, Shelley saluted hat-trick hero Beecham.

“Jamie played really well against Weeley,” he said.

“He’s a talented boy who’s really pulled his socks up during pre-season.

“He’s determined to do well next season.”