Long Melford manager Jules Mumford is confident his side can push on next season after securing the signings of three ex- AFC Sudbury players.
Steve Adams, Steve Chisholm and Daniel Smith all joined Stoneylands from their Ryman League Division One North neighbours at the weekend as the Melford boss looks to strengthen his squad ahead of the new season in five weeks.
And Mumford has already put his faith in Adams, who previously played youth and senior football for the Villagers up until 2008.
“Steve (Adams) is a terrific player who I have handed the captaincy to for next season,” said the Melford boss. “There were a couple of other clubs after him, but I’m pleased to have got him with us.”
Chisholm also returns to Stoneylands having played with Adams at Melford before gaining Ryman League experience with Sudbury.
Smith completes the trio of new signings, having impressed in Sudbury’s reserve team last season.
Mumford also announced that Sam Mansfield, Jack Durey and Ross Waugh had all re-signed for the club.
“Sam is a quality goalkeeper who is the best in the league on his day,” said Mumford. “Jack is a great lad who I am really pleased to have kept for next season.
“He was supporters’ player of the year last year and I hope he’ll push on and get some more goals for us.”
Waugh won the players’ player and young player of the year awards at the end of last season for the Villagers, and is another player which Mumford is pleased to have retained the services of for the 2014/15 season.
“We’ve got a healthy and competitive squad who will help the club push on next season,” said the Melford boss. “Pre-season is going well and we go straight in with a tough game next Saturday.”
Conference Premier side Braintree Town visit Stoneylands a week on Saturday (3pm) for the first pre-season friendly for Melford, who have also confirmed friendlies with Brightlingsea Regent, Barnston AFC and FC Clacton.
n Halstead Town have 90 per cent of their squad signed up for next season, according to their manager Mark Benterman.
Ash John-Baptiste, James Regan, Nick Miller, Dan Grindrod and Jack Dean have become the latest players from last season to put pen to paper for another season at Rosemary Lane.
“I’m waiting on five or six players to sign before I announce them,” said the Humbugs boss. “They have all agreed to join and will help add strength in depth to our squad.
“Last season we had a lot of injuries over Christmas, which hurt us, but we’ve added to that squad which I think can challenge next season.
Halstead start their pre-season fixtures when they host Conference South outfit Concord Rangers on July 12.