Matt Longhurst, manager of Ryman League Division One South club East Grinstead Town, has been busy since the end of the season.
He has retained Marcus Elliott, Robin Deen, captain Will Thomas, Drew Cooney, Dan Hogan, Will Hoare, Jason Davis, Alex Gaggin and Ricardo Thompson from the squad that ended the 2016/17 campaign.
Three under-21 players in Oshaye Hutchinson, Carlos Anderson and Oscar McConnell have been promoted to the first-team squad.
And Longhurst has added some new players, including 20-year-old goalkeeper Oshane Brown from Dulwich Hamlet, Callum Wilson, who is a full-back from Tooting & Mitcham United and was previously with AFC Wimbledon, Steve Sargent from Three Bridges, who will give the Wasps vital experience on and off the pitch, Connor Gales, another defender aged 20 whose previous clubs include Metropolitan Police and Godalming Town, goalkeeper Will Price joins from Leatherhead where he won the under-21 league last season, and Jay Edwards is another exciting prospect joining the club from Lewes.
At 18 years old, Edwards has all the qualities to push right through the levels and is one to watch this coming season.
— East Grinstead Town (@egtfcwasps) June 1, 2017
Also joining is young midfielder Michael Wilson from Three Bridges.Another local lad with bags of potential, he has a year’s experience at this level already.
Finally, Luke Saggers, a forward formerly with Welling United who is fully fit after a frustrating time with injuries last season, has also put pen-to-paper.
Leaving East Grinstead are Tashi Jay Kwayie snd Jordan Beaney, who have returned to respective parent clubs Tonbridge Angels and Charlton Athletic, Joey Taylor, who has signed for Burgess Hill Town in the Ryman Premier, Jimmy Shepheard, who is due to sign for a Ryman Premier club next week, and Dan Choules, who has signed for Woking under-23s.
Longhurst, who returned to the Wasps towards the end of last season, said: “It’s been a busy summer planning the pre-season games and training programmes, meeting existing players and of course making new signings. We have a tough pre-season programme with some quality opposition lined up, all designed to get us ready for the season-opener on August 12. I am really looking forward to working with this group of players.
I feel we have added in key areas of the squad which will give us a much better balance with a few key senior players added and areas of the pitch strengthened.
“We have promoted a number of players to the squad and they too will still develop across both the first team and under-21s. There are lots of very promising youngsters at this club who will be given the opportunity to train and play in senior football which can only bode well for the future of East Grinstead Town”.