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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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