Clarets Snap-Up Striker and Defender

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Chelmsford City have wasted no time in building a squad to contend towards the top of the Blue Square Bet South for….

…2011/12, manager Glenn Pennyfather adding another two players in the shape of renowned striker Cliff Akurang and long-serving Thurrock defender Kenny Clark.

Akurang, a powerful 30-year-old forward, started off in the youth teams at Chelsea and Luton Town before settling at Chesham United in the Ryman League as a teenager. He then moved on to Hitchin Town in 2000/01, from where Thurrock picked him up and benefitted from his emergence which led to 104 games and thirty-eight goals over four years. A further twenty-four strikes in sixteen outings at Heybridge Swifts then alerted the bigger clubs to his potential.

Dagenham & Redbridge took him on loan and eventually made him a fixture in their 2006/07 Conference National title-winning side.

A short spell back on loan at Thurrock was succeeded by a move to Histon in the Conference again for 2007/08 where he converted more than a goal in every other match.

Akurang returned to Football League action with Barnet between 2008 and 2010, the second year largely being spent at Rushden & Diamonds on loan after Weymouth.

His return to the semi-professional game saw him spend some more time with Thurrock where he began a short tour of the Conference South, which led to him signing for Maidenhead United for the majority of 2010/11.

Akurang switched to Braintree Town towards the end of the campaign and helped them to the Conference South league title.

Clark, meanwhile, can feature as a centre or a full-back and is approaching his 23rd birthday. He spent two years in the youth team at Dagenham & Redbridge before joining Thurrock in 2006, having just completed a loan period at Heybridge Swifts.

Despite his age, Kenny is one of Thurrock’s all-time leading appearance makers, lining-up 177 times for the Ship Lane club. He was often named as captain and was the Supporters’ player of the season in 2009/10.

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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