Chelmsford City have wasted no time in building a squad to contend towards the top of the Blue Square Bet South for….
…2011/12, manager Glenn Pennyfather adding another two players in the shape of renowned striker Cliff Akurang and long-serving Thurrock defender Kenny Clark.
Akurang, a powerful 30-year-old forward, started off in the youth teams at Chelsea and Luton Town before settling at Chesham United in the Ryman League as a teenager. He then moved on to Hitchin Town in 2000/01, from where Thurrock picked him up and benefitted from his emergence which led to 104 games and thirty-eight goals over four years. A further twenty-four strikes in sixteen outings at Heybridge Swifts then alerted the bigger clubs to his potential.
Dagenham & Redbridge took him on loan and eventually made him a fixture in their 2006/07 Conference National title-winning side.
A short spell back on loan at Thurrock was succeeded by a move to Histon in the Conference again for 2007/08 where he converted more than a goal in every other match.
Akurang returned to Football League action with Barnet between 2008 and 2010, the second year largely being spent at Rushden & Diamonds on loan after Weymouth.
His return to the semi-professional game saw him spend some more time with Thurrock where he began a short tour of the Conference South, which led to him signing for Maidenhead United for the majority of 2010/11.
Akurang switched to Braintree Town towards the end of the campaign and helped them to the Conference South league title.
Clark, meanwhile, can feature as a centre or a full-back and is approaching his 23rd birthday. He spent two years in the youth team at Dagenham & Redbridge before joining Thurrock in 2006, having just completed a loan period at Heybridge Swifts.
Despite his age, Kenny is one of Thurrock’s all-time leading appearance makers, lining-up 177 times for the Ship Lane club. He was often named as captain and was the Supporters’ player of the season in 2009/10.