The Ryman Football League
Published 18th July 2012
.....pen-to-paper for the new season. Dave Wilkinson, Paul Agu, Rob Carter, Danny Allen-Page, Peter Wedgeworth, David Graves, Justin Hemmings, Dean Gunner, Tutu Henriques, James Evans, Nicky Greene, Liam Collins, Adam Moriarty, Fabio Saraiva, Sam Butler, Sam Tucknott, James Fray, Liam Wright, Troy Williams, Roscoe D`Sane, Connor French and Kyle Farrar have all signed. The players who have left Merstham during the summer include Jordan Wilson, Andre McCollin, Tommy Youle, Joe Holland and Elliot Jones. In speaking of the new signings, Bird stressed the need to build on the foundations created last season and in anticipating a very competitive league, the need to improve.
“We were delighted with the response from the players, last season. We remained unbeaten in the last ten matches, which included winning five games in succession. At any level of football, that is an achievement and the players deserve great credit. However, the summer has provided the opportunity to improve, which was required if we are to continue our progress. The league will be strong this season and as a club, we wanted to react to that.
“The new players will help us. I know all of the lads very well and in addition to improving the quality of our squad, they will bring the experience we were lacking. Tutu arrives having been captain of Bromley, with an enormous amount of experience in the Blue Square Bet South. Likewise, Danny Allen-Page has spent the majority of his career at Conference Premier and Conference South level. “I’ve known Nicky Greene for a long time, having worked with him at both Croydon Athletic and more recently Bromley, where I also coached Sam Butler.” “Liam was in integral part of the Carshalton Athletic team, while Kyle came through the ranks at the Bromley Academy and progressed into the First Team. He has returned to the UK, having played in America last season.” “We are delighted to sign Connor French. We both felt we needed a different type of centre forward to fill the void left by Harry Ottaway’s departure to Leatherhead. Connor impressed at this level and in a struggling Tooting side last season. Barry and I believe he is the perfect fit.” Ronnie Green, Francis Duku, Reggie Savage and Wes Barclay are also training with the squad.
“The players contacted myself and Barry in the summer and have all impressed in training,” explained Bird. “We’ll be sitting down with them this week to see if we can work something out with them.” Another man who worked alongside Bird at Bromley was John Harding, who arrives as the new first-team coach, which is a role that includes working with the goalkeepers. The final piece of the jig-saw is Harry Baxter, who arrives as the fitness and conditioning coach. “Like the players, John will be a great addition to the club. He is a good coach and a good club man. The players are already enjoying working with him. Harry has helped take our professionalism onto a new level. As a former PT Instructor in the Royal Marines, one thing is for certain, the players will be fit!” Having been working with the players since 2nd July, the manager is looking forward to starting the pre-season friendlies.
“Having worked so hard physically, we are now looking forward to working with the ball, in game situations,” added Bird. “Richard Baxter has put together a good pre-season programme and we are looking forward to starting the next phase of preparations on Saturday at Worthing United.”