Chromasport United Counties League
Published 4th June 2012
Manager Pat Rayment, trying to build a squad capable of promotion next season, has agreed a contract deal for St Neots Town striker Shane Tolley and brought in defender Miles Chamberlain.
It stands alongside ex-Boston United player/joint-manager Lee Canoville as another stunning signing for a United Counties League side looking to go places.
Tolley smashed twenty-two goals in thirty-nine appearances last season. And in the 2010/11 season his forty-nine strikes were key to St Neots winning the UCL.
Tulips manager Pat Rayment couldn’t contain his delight at agreeing a two-year contract with Tolley.
He said: “It’s great news for us. He’s in a different class of striker.”
And he’s landed ex-Stamford defender Miles Chamberlain and put an offer to former Peterborough United striker Francis Green.
However, that followed knockbacks from several targets, including Lewis Webb, who is joining King’s Lynn Town, Jack Defty, who joined Lowestoft Town earlier this week, and Lee Clarke, who re-signed for Welling United.
Rayment’s disappointment is tempered by the fact all of those players have turned down the Tulips due to offers from higher-graded clubs.
And he’s braced for rejection by released Boston United winger Ryan Semple. It’s understood that a Blue Square Bet North side is also keen on him.
Rayment said: “To be fair, I would always endorse that players` play as high as they can for as long as they can.
“When I left Corby Town for Spalding in the late 1990s it took a lot of convincing by then manager Alan Day to get me to drop down several levels.
“But we won the league so it made it worthwhile.”
Rayment is delighted by the capture of Chamberlain.
Another centre half – to complement Canoville and Simon Ashton – would provide cover and give the Tulips the option of playing three at the back.
Furthermore, Chamberlain is in the mould of player Rayment wants – one who can help get the Tulips out of the United Counties League as quickly as possible and be more than comfortable competing at a higher level.
Rayment said: “Miles is young and strong, reads the game well and is well above the standard we’re playing at.
“I think he’ll benefit from playing next to Lee.”
Meanwhile, the Tulips are also hoping to hear back from ex-Yaxley and Bourne Town striker Michael Frew.
The biggest doubt, though, is Semple. He has indicated that he doesn’t want to step back down to the UCL, which he left when he went to the Pilgrims from Deeping Rangers.
With that in mind, Rayment has also put an offer to Francis Green.
The 32-year-old hitman played 107 times for Peterborough between 1998 and 2003, scoring fourteen goals. He also netted eighteen goals in ninety-nine appearances for Lincoln City.
He had other Football League experience with Boston and Macclesfield Town and just last season he helped Ilkeston FC to promotion to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division.
Rayment wants Green but accepts the club could not support four strikers – so it could be a case of first come, first served.
And he reiterated his underlying masterplan.
He said: “I’m determined that this football club is going to be a proper club with good infrastructure.
“There’s a two-year plan in place and when we get to that point we’ll look at another one.
“One of my first aims is to get supporters back through the turnstiles. I believe the quality of player we’re signing should be capable of doing that.”
Rayment also revealed that he has persuaded midfielder Luke Kennedy to return to the club from Holbeach United.