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Tough Start For Hippolyte`s Young Swans

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Staines Town open their Bostik League Premier campaign tomorrow with a very tough visit to Champion Hill to take on last season`s play-off final losers Dulwich Hamlet.

Swans` boss Johnson Hippolyte begins his second full season in charge at Wheatsheaf Park with several new arrivals to assist a relatively young squad.

Star summer signing was striker Elliott Buchanan, who returned to the club having scored 34 goals for Bishop’s Stortford in 2015/16 and was the top scorer in the National League South, before transferring to Margate for last season.

Other early summer signings were vastly experienced Ben Martin, a 6`7” centre-back who has won promotion with Boreham Wood and St Albans City, well-travelled goalkeeper Ashlee Jones, striker Lewis Driver, formerly with Maidenhead United and Harrow Borough, and full-back Tom Gilbey, who
recently finished his studies at Durham University.

Previously with Maidenhead, while in the north-east he played for Ebac Northern League side Whitley Bay.

More recent Hippolyte recruits are Chevron McLean, Joash Nembhard, Josh Webb and Greg Haydon.

McLean is a 21-year-old full-back who, after gaining experience as a junior with Fulham and Aldershot Town, moved on to Godalming Town, AFC Croydon Athletic and Merstham, before signing for Evo-Stik South Premier side St Neots Town in November 2016.

He is an athletic, attacking full-back, who is comfortable on either foot.

Nembhard is a 19-year-old left-sided midfielder who was playing regular senior football with Sun Sports in the Spartan South Midlands League while still an under-18, and indeed while representing the Hertfordshire FA under-18 side, his goal helped them reached the FA County Youth Cup quarter-finals in December 2015.

He completed that season at Hendon, helping their udner-18s win the Eastern Junior Alliance ‘Brown’ Division championship.

He moved on to Chesham United in 2016, working through the reserves to gain a first-team place.

Webb is a 27-year-old defender or midfielder who started at Reading as a junior.

The son of former Nottingham Forest, Manchester United and England star Neil Webb subsequently appeared for Weymouth, Farnborough, Eastleigh, Basingstoke Town, Hemel Hempstead Town, Walton & Hersham and Hungerford Town.

After a spell with Burnham, he moved to Harrow in February 2015.

Haydon is a 22-year-old centre-back who was a youth team player at AFC Wimbledon and Woking.

He entered senior football with Dorking Wanderers, a stint that was bookended by extended injuries.

He was with Guildford City in the Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League last season.

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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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