Vanarama National League South club Hayes & Yeading United have signed midfielder Ashley Lodge and vastly experienced defender Darren Purse.
After winning the league, League Cup, and players` player of the year award for Kew Association in 2006/07, Lodge joined the Staines Town and Kingston College Academy and progressed through to a regular place in the reserves in which he was voted player of the year for 2010/11 when he helped them lift the President’s Cup.
He found his first-team opportunities limited at Staines, and so initially dual registered with Combined Counties League neighbours Staines Lammas in 2008/09, and then signed for Molesey until early in 2011/12, at which point he joined Ashford Town (Middx).
He started the 2012/13 campaign at Chipstead, but re-joined the Swans in January 2013 and was voted player of the year in 2013/14.
He was recently released by Staines, as was 38-year-old Purse, who registered with Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central outfit AFC Rushden & Diamonds where he is under-18 MAA Academy manager.
A vastly experienced and supremely fit 6’2” tall player, a varied career has seen him play over 550 Premier League and Football League matches, scoring 34 goals, and attract transfer fees in excess of £3m, since beginning at Leyton Orient as a 17-year-old.
He had a loan in Finland with BK-IFK, and was then sold to Oxford United, who went on to sell him to Premier League Birmingham City, where he appeared in the 2001 League Cup Final (scoring one of their goals in the shoot-out defeat by Liverpool at the Millennium Stadium).
He played 168 League games for Birmingham, before continuing his career with West Bromwich Albion, then Cardiff City, whom he captained, and was on the bench for the 2008 FA Cup Final.
Spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Millwall followed, then loans at Yeovil Town and Plymouth Argyle, the latter becoming permanent.
His last League club was Port Vale, whom he helped to gain promotion to League One in 2013.
That August, he transferred to Åland club IFK Mariehamn in the top flight in Finland, where he also coached the under-18s.
He signed for Chesham United in 2013/14, and was registered for both them and Welling United last season before his switch to Staines.