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Hayes Building-Up Tigers Squad

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Seb Hayes, manager of ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division club Holbeach United, feels his squad is taking shape nicely after announcing agreements to sign four new players.

Hayes has persuaded strikers Will Bird and Lewis Leckie to switch to Carter’s Park from league rivals Deeping Rangers and UCL Division One outfit Blackstones respectively, while he’s also raided Sleaford Town for winger George Asplin.

The Tigers chief also has a verbal agreement to sign Sleaford defender Joe Braithwaite, who was a success in his first spell at Carter’s Park under former boss Glen Maddison.

Leckie missed much of last season through injury, but scored 32 goals in thirty-four games for Oakham United in 2015/16.

Fellow frontman Bird, who made a handful of appearances for Stamford AFC as a youngster, impressed for Ketton in the Peterborough & District League Premier Division last season with 18 goals in as many games.

Winger Asplin, who is 21, scored 9 goals in forty-four appearances for Sleaford last season and is dubbed a “raw talent” by Hayes.

Having lost key duo Jamie Stevens and Josh Ford to rivals Wisbech Town, Hayes feels the four new faces will energise the squad and all he and number two Daz Edey to better implement their style of play.

Although Tommy Treacher has signed for PDL Division One side Tydd St Mary, every other player from last year’s squad has also agreed to report back for pre-season.

“I’m very pleased to have got the signings done,” Hayes told the Spalding Guardian. “Obviously players are always free to change their minds, but we felt it was time to reveal our hand.

“Lewis is a natural goalscorer – he just lives to score goals. He’s not bothered if he’s not in the game, but once the ball comes into the box he comes alive.
“If we can get him playing like the Lewis Leckie of a few years ago, he’ll be a major asset for us.

“He knows Darren Edey very well and he was key in getting him to come here.

“He’s a good replacement for Josh Ford and, as somebody with a point to prove after injury, I’m confident he’ll be a major hit for us.

“As for Will, I’m not sure he was ever played in his preferred position at Deeping. He showed his quality as a striker with Ketton – and we’ll certainly look to play him in his strongest position.

“He’s another young player with a point to prove. At 22, he’s got great ability and will help us get up the pitch. I’m very excited about getting him on-board.

“George is a player that I’ve tracked for some time. He burst onto the scene a few years ago and really impressed me.

“He’s very raw and is only 21, so there’s time for him to improve and develop with us.

“He’ll give us some much-needed legs and will be another good option for us going forward.

“Those three have all signed, while we have a verbal agreement with Joe. Everybody knows how good a UCL defender he is – and he’s also versatile. I’m confident he’ll be with us and that he’ll prove a great signing.

“With these four lads coming in, we’ll have a very hungry group. The aim remains to win a trophy next season and for us to work towards being competitive in the title race in three years”.

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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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