Horsham captain Jack Brivio is one of six of last season’s promotion-winning squad to commit to the club and he believes they have already shown they are more than capable of making the step up.
The club announced this week that along with Brivio, 23-goal topscorer Chris Smith, Rob O’Toole, Harvey Spark, Lee Harding and Charlie Harris have all re-signed.
They are the first batch of last season’s play-off winning squad to put pen to paper ahead of the Hornets’ the Bostik League Premier Division return.
Former Tonbridge Angels midfielder Brivio joined the club last September from Burgess Hill and was soon given the captaincy by manager Dominic Di Paola.
He made 44 appearances and scored nine goals as the Hornets raced into the play-offs and went onto win promotion.
On his decision to re-sign he said: “It was a really easy one to be honest, ever since I came into Horsham it has been great. They are a great group of lads there and with the success we had with the play-offs was brilliant, so it was an easy decision to stay.
“It’s now a case of pushing ourselves at the next level and hopefully that is with most of the squad we have got already; I’m really looking forward to it.
“When I signed last September we were 15th or 16th in the league and I just had the aim of enjoying my football as I had not played in that league before, so it was a new challenge.
“Once we got going as a team, we just started flying. Between Christmas and New Year internally we set the goal of pushing for the play-offs and when we got in there we never looked back.
“I was really pleased to be involved, to help the team, score a few goals and then lift that trophy at the end, it was a really good feeling.
“It was probably one of the most enjoyable seasons I have had. The togetherness as a group off the pitch as well as on it and fight in every game has shown in the results.”
Having always played at a higher level for Burgess Hill and Tonbridge, Brivio is well aware of the standard in the Premier Division.
But with impressive performances last season against higher opposition such as Corinthian Casuals, Poole Town and Bath City, he believes they are already in good shape.
The middle man added: “It’s a tough league and I would say that there are no easy games. Every game is a battle and you come up against tough units and big strong, physical teams.
“But in the four or five games we played against higher opposition we had last year we proved we were more than capable of competing.
“Our main strength is togetherness which served us well last year and again it will be really important in that league.
“We have plenty of quality up top and defensively I think we were outstanding last season, so we have that quality. We know we won’t be winning every game, but we know we can go into them going to win.”