BRIDPORT boss Rich Robson insisted his newly-signed players have what it takes to succeed in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division.

Strikers Lewis Clarke, Robinson Okumu, Joel Hewitt and Derek Wall plus utility player Callum Thompson have all linked up with the Bees.

The quintet’s arrival tempers the loss of retired veteran forward Mark Salter plus Paulton Rovers acquisitions Ed Butcher and Braeden Symes.

Robson is making his first foray into the world of non-League management after a notable spell in charge of Dorchester Town Reserves and spent time on the bench with former Portland United manager Simon Browne.

Prior to taking over at St Mary’s Field, Robson also assisted former Magpies’ boss Steve Thompson with warm-up routines before the latter lost his job in early March.

Speaking to the Bridport News, Robson spoke highly of Wall and Hewitt, insisting the duo were making a similar step up in class to that of Butcher and Symes.

Referring to suggestions the duo are inexperienced, he said: “In some respects that’s a little unfair.

“There’s two who perhaps haven’t experienced that level in Joel and Derek, but I wouldn’t have brought them in if I didn’t think they could make that step up.

“Joel is going to add to the side and test himself out, just like Symesy and Ed have done.

“Joel will prove to everyone he’ll score. He’s a young lad and he’s not someone I’m looking to come in and set the world alight straight away.

“Give him a season, maybe two, and we can develop him into a very good Western League player.

“Derek on the other hand has had experience at other clubs. He’s made a handful of first-team appearances and has had a little bit of experience at this level.

“Physically and technically he’s well up to standard. As I’ve said he’s a hidden gem.”

On Thompson, Robson added: “We know Callum’s pedigree anyway. He was at Plymouth Parkway and Dorchester Town and in the games he played I don’t think he let himself down at Dorchester, so he’s had that experience of a little step up.

“Obviously Lewis he was at Portland and has plenty of experience at this level.

“Then Robinson, he was at Wimborne for many years and when he was there he was constantly out on dual signings with Bemerton, Ringwood, Portland – those sorts of sides which are at our level.

“He’s shown he can do it and scored on his debut in the Southern League, so those lads will add to us.

“In terms of further experience, we’ll see what happens. We’ll try and win some players over and drive Bridport to be the best they can.”