BRIGHTLINGSEA Regent manager Tom Rothery insists results are very much secondary during pre-season.

The R's began their preparations for the new BetVictor Isthmian League premier division campaign with a 2-1 defeat against Long Melford, on Friday night.

Next up they travel to Thurlow Nunn League first division south outfit Little Oakley tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).

Naturally, Rothery hopes his side produce positive results during a summer schedule that also includes fixtures against Lowestoft Town (July 20), FC Clacton (July 23), Brantham Athletic (July 26), Hadleigh United (July 30) and Harlow Town (August 3).

However, he says results take a definite backseat compared to factors like form, fitness and working on different shapes and tactics.

“Pre-season is massively important and gives you a base level of fitness," said the Regent boss.

“It gives you a chance to work on systems and build confidence levels.

“I’m not obsessed by results, though, and don’t ever think you can read too much into them.

“If you lose, it gives you a chance to iron out a few wrinkles and work on things before the season starts.

“And if you’re winning all the time, it can lull you into a false sense of security, thinking everything’s hunky dory.

"Then if you don’t start the season well it’s a case of panic stations.”

Regent began their summer training with a fun squad-bonding exercise, rowing from Brightlingsea to Mersea Island.

“Training has been going well and, after a session in the morning, it was great to have a bit of fun down at Brightlingsea Rowing Club," said Rothery.

“I was terrible, though, which the lads really enjoyed!

“We rowed from Brightlingsea to Mersea.

“Some rowed back, too, rather than getting a boat, and others went for a swim.

“It was just nice doing something different and while it didn’t have anything to do with football, it was very physical and good for upper-body strength.

“More than anything, it was a great squad-bonding exercise, socialising together and having a laugh.

“It was a nice ice-breaker for the new lads in the squad and helped get everyone back in the swing of things.

“The banter soon started flying around and it was normal service resumed, after a few weeks apart."