RINGWOOD Town manager Charlie Pierson has targeted a top-half finish in Wessex League Division One having been handed the reins on a permanent basis.

The 32-year-old centre-half, who served Town with distinction for a number of years as a player, was drafted in as caretaker manager in December last season with the club struggling to attract players.

After a tough start, which featured a 10-1 drubbing at eventual champions Petersfield Town, Pierson’s charges gradually grew in stature and ended a demoralising run of defeats with a pair of 2-1 victories over Team Solent and New Milton Town to finish the campaign 13th.

And now the boss has been joined by coach Jordan Hiscock – who masterminded Richmond Park Con’s four-trophy haul in BFA Saturday football last season – Pierson has confidence about building a successful squad for the forthcoming campaign.

He stopped short of suggesting that Ringwood would draft in the bulk of Richmond’s side – which won the Hayward Saturday League, Hampshire Intermediate Cup, Pickford Cup and Poole Bay Challenge Cup – and stated that he would run the rule over a host of trialists before making any decisions.

“We are really looking forward to the new season,” said Pierson. “A number of players say they are interested in coming over but they are just words at the moment. We will have to see who comes to pre-season training but the initial signs are good.

“Some of the lads who I have played with at Ringwood in the past want to come back and Jordan coming over to help is a massive boost. We have had bad starts over the past few seasons and we need to put that right.

“I would like to see us in the top half and the first 10 or so games will be important. I want us to be competitive and still have an interest in the cup competitions.”