Heybridge Swifts boss Keith Wilson believes the club’s experienced players can play a vital role this season.

Swifts have been rocked by the departure of key players this summer, including Jamie Guy, Chris Bryan and Ben Newson.

Nevertheless, Wilson, who took over earlier this month, is encouraged by the talented youngsters at the club – but wants his more seasoned players to help lead them in the right direction.

The former Burnham Ramblers boss said: “Experienced players like Danny Barber, Frank Everett and Lee Boylan need to lead by example.

“Lee’s been fantastic since I’ve come in and there’s good quality there.

“We had five or six under-21 players featuring in our recent friendly against Colchester United and it’s good for them and the club.

“There are players stepping up to this level for the first time and I thought Jordan Palmer and Jack Smith, from Halstead, did particularly well against Colchester.”

Swifts drew 2-2 at home to Ryman Premier side Canvey Island in a friendly on Tuesday.

They fought back from behind twice thanks to goals from Palmer and Alex Andrews.

They also played out a 3-3 draw with Kelvedon Hatch in another friendly, on Saturday.

Their scorers were Tom Holdstock, Andy Tomlinson and Andrews.