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Impressive Trio Of New Clarets

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Vanarama National League South club Chelmsford City have completed the signings of Lee Barnard, Paul Rogers and Michael West ahead of the 2017/18 season.

Barnard joins the Clarets having spent a season with Essex neighbours Braintree Town.

The 32-year-old striker made thirty-five appearances for The Iron last season, netting three times as the Cressing Road side were relegated to the National League South.

A former Tottenham Hotspur youngster, Barnard has an abundance of Football League experience having played for Leyton Orient, Southend United, Southampton, Bournemouth and Crawley Town amongst others.

The Romford-born front-man is delighted to join the Clarets however, and is looking forward to beginning his Chelmsford career under Rod Stringer.

“I’m delighted.” he said. “It’s a big club, a local club for me, and I’m really excited to get started now.

“I’ve spoken to Rod Stringer before. I know about the club, it’s ambition, and it’s something that I want to be a part of.

“I’m 32 now, even at my age I want to win things and do well. The whole thing about Chelmsford is going in the right direction and I’m pleased to be a part of it.”

Also making a move to the Melbourne Community Stadium is defender Paul Rodgers.

Since progressing through the youth system at Arsenal, 27-year-old Rodgers has played for numerous clubs at non-League level, including Billericay Town, St Neots Town and Farnborough.

Rodgers’ impressive performances at Farnborough led to the experienced defender earning a move to Bromley ahead of the 2014/15.

In a two-year spell with Bromley, Rodgers was involved in their title-winning campaign.

But, in June 2016, Rodgers moved to Bishop’s Stortford when first-team chances came at a rarity.

Rodgers said: “I’m over the moon.

“There was no other club I wanted to join, why would I want to go to any other club. You lost in the promotion final and so we have to look at getting promoted now and that’s what I want to do.”

The third addition to the squad, and Stringer’s fourth signing of the summer, is Michael West.

The 26-year-old midfielder joins the Clarets with further Football League experience mixed with non-league experience too.

The Maidstone-born midfielder was a trainee with Fulham prior to joining Ebbsfleet United’s youth system.

In 2009 West signed a professional contract with The Fleet but his impressive performances earned himself a move to newly promoted Football League side Crewe Alexandra.

First-team opportunities with Crewe proved limited however, and West was therefore dispatched on-loan to Hereford United.

West re-joined Ebbsfleet in January 2014, but a serious injury meant he didn’t make an appearance for a year.

Whitehawk signed the midfielder on a temporary deal for the second half of the 2015/16 season before signing West permanently in June 2016 following his release from the Kent side.

After signing a deal with City, West stated: “It’s always nice to get a club early on in pre-season.” he said.

“Rod contacted me two weeks ago and the ball hasn’t stopped rolling,” he continued. “I’ve always thought that Chelmsford were one of the bigger teams in the league and it’s good to put pen-to-paper”.

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