HEYBRIDGE Swifts boss Jody Brown believes his club are flourishing – and says their league position does not reflect the good work going on at Scraley Road.

Swifts are 19th in Ryman League division north – three places and five points above the relegation zone – heading into tonight’s tricky match at promotion-chasing Thurrock.

They fell to a 3-0 defeat at home to title hopefuls AFC Hornchurch on Saturday.

However, Brown insists there are a “major plus points” both on the pitch and behind the scenes and believes brighter times lie ahead.

“I’m relaxed about our league position and don’t think we’ll get sucked into the bottom three,” he said.

“It would still be nice to get another few points to make absolutely sure, though.

“We’re still a work in progress but we’ve come so far since this time last season.

“The infrastructure and general atmosphere around the club is much better.

“The league table doesn’t reflect the progress we’ve made and isn’t a fair gauge, because we’re definitely moving in the right direction, as a team but, more importantly, as a club.

“Brighter times are definitely on the horizon and in the next year or two, people will be impressed by what’s happening here.

“It won’t be long before we’re having good, positive seasons and pushing for promotion again.”

Brown believes success at non-league level is about more than results and tables.

He says it is important to lay foundations for the future and points to the club’s growing youth set-up as an example.

“Success, especially at this level, shouldn’t just be about results and tables,” he said.

“Far from it.

“It’s about much more than winning or losing and there are so many major plus points at the moment.

“(Chairman) Gary White and his fellow board members are working very hard and steering the club in the right direction.

“One of the best things is the growing link between ourselves and the club’s seventeen youth sides.

“We’re more integrated now and flourishing because of it, which is massive for the future of the club.

“It would also be nice to see some of the staff from the youth sides become involved in the first-team set-up.

“I want them to have aspirations to be part of the club for the long haul because these guys – the enthusiastic, community-minded people who give up their time – are the lifeblood of Heybridge.

“There are lots of good things going on off the pitch and it’s important our supporters and potential supporters realise how hard we’re trying to integrate into the community.

“I, for one, want the club to succeed and want to play my part in laying solid foundations for the future.”

Brown, who has also been encouraged by steadily rising attendances, is expecting another difficult match tonight.

“It’s going to be another massive test,” he said.

“Thurrock still have aspirations of winning the title and they impressed me when I saw them play last Friday, against Bowers.

“I like the way they play and it’s going to be another tough match, having just played Maldon and Tiptree in the Tolleshunt D’Arcy Cup last Tuesday and then Hornchurch – a side with huge title aspirations - on Saturday.”