ANGELO Harrop says Braintree Town's decision to switch towards full-time training is a 'big step forward' for the club, writes DAVID WARD.

Iron chairman Lee Harding and the club's directors have given the green light for players to train three days a week next season, following their promotion to the National League.

The move will help Braintree cope with competing on an equal footing against bigger-sized clubs, many of whom have come down from the Football League and are full-time.

The Iron have already started their preparation for the 2024-25 campaign, with manager Harrop also agreeing a new deal with club directors late last week.

"It's a big step forward for our club and its thanks to the efforts of the board and also our ground and shirt sponsors - the Rare Breed Meat Company - that we are able to move forward in this way," said Harrop.

"We know it's going to be an even harder league in which to compete but we are now putting the building blocks in place and already have distinct plans for pre-season.

"With the tremendous support of our fans too who were magnificent throughout out promotion-winning season, we know preparation is key.

"Everyone is excited at the prospect of competing at a higher level and we know we have to be fully prepared from the off."

Harrop has already been talking to his existing Braintree players about next season.

The Iron boss is hopeful most will be able to adjust to the new training schedules, while he and his backroom team are already talking to possible new recruits to help strengthen his squad.

Harrop said: "I'm really pleased with the increase in our playing budget and as usual we will be working hard, being sensible and again make sure as usual what players we bring in fit in to how we operate and want to play.

"We've made great strides with our club in the two seasons I've been here and we must now build on that and move everything forward."

Harrop is excited at the prospect of facing some big clubs, including a local derby with Southend United, adding: "We know what to expect and it's going to an exciting time for everyone involved at the club."

Braintree shirt and stadium sponsors The Rare Breed Meat Co. have agreed to extend their sponsorship for next season.

Matchday and season ticket prices were agreed at a board meeting and it was decided to increase prices to give the squad the resources necessary to be competitive at the higher level.

The matchday admission for adults is up from £15 to £20, concessions are £15 and under-18s £10.

As usual, Braintree are offering special early bird discount season ticket purchases - visit for more details.