BRIGHTLINGSEA Regent coach Ryan Salter says his club will relish the challenge of rubbing shoulders with Premier League stars in tonight's showdown at big-spending Billericay Town.

The New Lodge side have become a national story in recent weeks, since being taken over by multi-millionaire owner Glenn Tamplin.

Their eye-catching squad includes Champions League runner-up Jermaine Pennant, former England international Paul Konchesky, ex-Premier League midfielder Jamie O'Hara and old Wolves defender Kevin Foley.

Salter says his team are excited by the chance to take them on and says they will travel to the south of the county in good heart after three straight Bostik League victories.

“It’s going to be a fantastic night," he told the Gazette.

“For ourselves, such a small club in comparison, to be going head to head with what have become a colossal non-league side is incredible.

“It’s something none of us could have imagined a few years ago.

“We’re excited about it and I know the boys, some of whom played for our club in the Border League, will absolutely relish coming up against former Premier League players like Pennant and O’Hara.

“It’s an incredible story at Billericay and I’ve got nothing but respect for Glenn Tamplin.

“To put so much of his money and hard work into the club is superb and we’re really looking forward to going down there and seeing how we fare.

“We plan to enjoy it and we’re feeling positive, after three straight wins.

“We hope we can go there and nick something.”

Brightlingsea's most recent premier division victory was Saturday's 2-1 success at home to Enfield Town.

It came hot on the heels of a memorable August Bank Holiday, during which Regent defeated Hendon and Needham Market.

“We’re so delighted with our last few league results," added Salter.

“After taking one point from our opening three games, we looked at the fixture list and wondered where our first win was going to come from.

“Now we’ve won three in a row and it’s massively overwhelming.

“We had a chat after those first few games and decided we needed to put the emphasis on ourselves, as a team, rather than worrying unduly about our opposition.

“It’s down to us to play to our strengths and see how we can beat teams, rather than setting out not to nullify sides and not lose.

“Of course you have to get the balance right and you can’t be naïve.

“You have to set yourselves up to be hard to beat but we also have to focus on what we do best – scoring goals.

“It’s been really positive and so rewarding.

"For me, as a coach, I’ve found it even more rewarding than when I was playing."

Regent have a few injury concerns for tonight's game.

Salter was reluctant to name names but said: "We're going to treat them as best we can and try our hardest to get them on the pitch."