Ryman League Division One South club Lewes have announced their first new signings of the summer in Liam MacDevitt and Frankie Chappell.
MacDevitt is a pacey forward, who caused the Rooks` back line considerable grief when they faced him against Horsham last August.
There was certainly no shame in Lewes` defenders failing to keep pace with the 22-year-old – MacDevitt was an international-class 400m runner who was in contention for the Team GB squad for the Olympic Games in Rio!
He’s got some footballing pedigree, too. He spent two years at Yeovil Town as a teenager, before taking time out from football to concentrate on his athletics career.
He’s also played for Hitchin Town, St Albans City and Gosport Borough.
He was snapped up by Greenwich Borough in November last year, after impressing with his early season form at Horsham, but will be joining Darren Freeman’s squad when they return for pre-season training at the end of June.
“Liam is someone who can stretch defences,” said Freeman. “He’s got an eye for goal and when we played Horsham last season, he gave our defence a real hard time. I think he will fit in well with the way we want to play.”
Lewes also announced the signing of Folkestone Invicta defender Chappell.
Chappell is something of a legend at the Ryman Premier outfit, who were disappointed with his departure.
Chappell has been the cornerstone of the back line at Folkestone for a decade, scoring 56 times in his time with the Kent club.
He played in every one of Invicta’s fifty-six competitive games last season and is only the second player ever to win the Folkestone’s Supporters` player of the year award twice.
Still only 29, Chappell is strong in both boxes and will certainly help replace the physical presence of Lloyd Harrington, who has left the club this summer ahead of a move to Australia.
Chappell needs a minor knee operation this summer, which means Rooks fans are unlikely to see him in pre-season or the early part of the new campaign, but the club look forward to seeing him play in the red and black as soon as possible.
Freeman is delighted to have signed Chappell, having pursued the defender for some time: “We tried to get him last summer, but he was already committed to Folkestone after their promotion. He’s an honest and loyal lad and he plays like that on the pitch. He’s a leader and it’s a very good signing for Lewes.”
Meanwhile, Gus Sow has agreed a one-year contract with the club.
Sow waited patiently for his opportunity last season, before getting a run in the team towards the end of the season when he put in a series of impressive performances in midfield.
That was enough to convince Darren Freeman to get Sow to put pen-to-paper, joining the six other players the Rooks now got signed on contracts until at least the end of the 2017/18 season.
One player who won’t be back next season is midfielder Jack Dixon, who has agreed terms with Sussex rivals Hastings United.
Dixon re-joined the club last summer, notching 11 goals in forty appearances in all competitions.