MANAGER Mark Collier does not expect to have made any further additions to the Chippenham Town squad by the time he calls his troops back in for pre-season training at the end of this month, ahead of the start of their National League adventure.

Collier has retained 16 members of the Bluebirds’ Southern League title-winning squad, while three new faces have been brought in so far.

Chippenham will begin their summer training programme on June 29 and although the Bluebirds boss is making plenty of enquiries, he does not expect to have strengthened his current group by the time they report for duty.

“I am still working away, I am not in any mass panic,” said Collier.

“It’s documented that we need to add to the forward line and I am speaking to people.

“It’s a difficult time as people are away on holiday, people are speaking to their present clubs, so there are a lot of things up in the air.

“If the season was to start tomorrow we’d have a competitive team but we are speaking to people and I expect to have decisions in the next couple of weeks.”

Earlier this week, the National League voted to expand its current play-off format in both tiers five and six, meaning that teams finishing as far down as seven in the table could be promoted.

Collier believes it will add further interest in the back-end of the season, although it is much too soon to say if the Bluebirds will see any benefit in their maiden campaign in the competition.

“I am surprised but I am not surprised either as I know a lot of teams have pushed for it,” said Collier.

“For the team that finishes seventh, it’s great for them, and with us being new to the league, it gives us another opportunity.

“Whether we are looking at the top seven at this stage is difficult to say. We will ease our way in, we will try to be competitive and see where it takes us.

“We will assess the season after the first month, then the second month as we have done all the time.

“I think it’s a good thing for the league but saying that, it’s quite harsh if you finish second but the team that come seventh get promoted.

“However, the rules are set out at the start of the season so everyone knows what they have to play for.”