Hampton & Richmond Borough boss Alan Dowson has signed a new two-year deal with the Ryman Premier League champions because he thinks it may take longer than next season to reach the National League South.

The former Kingstonian manager led the Beavers to the title in his first full season in charge at the Beveree and is already preparing for life at the next level.

Dowson, who verbally agreed the deal atthe weekend before signing a new contract this week, has already pinned down eight players to terms for next season - including academy midfielder Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis.

Nicke Kabamba, Josh Casey, Tom Jelley, Kieran Murphy, Leon Solomon, Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick and Jamal Lowe have all signed on, while striker Charlie Moone and defender Moussa Diarra have both moved on.

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Dowson, who will oversee the club's final trials for its academy at Weston Green Sports Club in Thames Ditton on May 31, expects to make further team announcements ahead of the weekend.

But he admits life in the National League South may be a slow burner as he looks to build the club from the bottom up.

"I'm glad we could sort out a deal for the next couple of seasons, and thanks to the board for showing their faith," he said.

"It'll give me the chance to build the club up and I think there's a good chance we'll do well in this coming season.

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"Everybody has seen what Leicester City have achieved and will be thinking there must be a different way, rather than just throwing money at the situation.

"We might be in this league for a little while and I want to build this club from the bottom. The academy is a massive part of that because we have to start producing our own players.

"We are a village club that has done well. We are a young squad and need to develop.

"It might be a struggle for a couple of years, but hopefully we'll then be in a position to challenge at the top."