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Saturday 1st August, KO 3.00

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Previous columns can be found under the match report of the game to which they refer, while video interviews can be found here 

Manager Paul Doswell sums up the position with player news in the fortnight since the season finished. 

''I'm over the moon to get Jason Brown back, he's an experienced goalkeeper who did really well for us previously and he was keen to come back. As for Ross Stearn, I never thought we'd be able to get him, and I was surprised he didn't play more games for Bath last season. He's a player I've known for a long time and always liked, and he's often played really well against us. Again he wants to come to us, which has been an important consideration for me in signing players – he'll travel up from Bristol with Kevin Amankwaah, which is also important as it means players aren't travelling distances to training on their own, and is training as an electrician which means that at the moment it's easier for him to train during the day – occasionally we'll lose a player because of daytime training, but it can also be an attraction for some players as well.


The joker in the pack so far could be Tom Bolarinwa. We watched him for Cray Wanderers at the end of the season and Micky Stephens also went to watch him when he was invited to play for Dagenham in a friendly. He's one of the quickest players I've seen, and he's had three good years in the Thai Premier League. He's keen to progress, and he knows that we don't stand in the way of players who do well enough with us to earn a chance at the higher level. He and Ross will provide the pace we were lacking last season – our players who had pace were often injured, and Tom and Ross are younger. Both can also play as a second striker if we need them to.


Kevin Amankwaah has agreed a deal for next season, which is good news because I thought he was one of the successes of last season, while Jamie Collins is also contracted to the end of the season and Callum Hart has agreed a deal. Callum has had a successful shoulder operation and if he stays fit next season can play an important part. Louis John is also due to have an operation later this month and he'll be ready for pre-season training. We've taken up our option on Shaun Cooper, who I thought was outstanding for us once he got fit, and we're talking to a defender who's had a successful season in the Conference this season, as well as one of our popular former players about a possible return.


This should allow us to move Micky Spillane back to the midfield position that he prefers and in which I've always wanted to play him, while Glen Southam and Bedsente Gomis are both on deals that cover next season. Craig Dundas has signed a new deal, and will hopefully again be able to cover midfield or up front, where I'm hopeful that Dan Fitchett might be joined by a target man who, again, has had a good season at Conference level this season. Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick and Billy Medlock are also with us for next season and we're hopeful that they will make good progress during the season.


With Jason Brown signing we won't be keeping Aaron Howe, who should be able to find another Conference South club. He came in and did us a favour, and did a good job for us from January and goes with our thanks for his efforts. Wayne Shaw will act as cover for Jason. It was difficult to let both Dale Binns and Ricky Wellard go – in Dale's case his season was ravaged by injury, and I was nervous of having a repeat of the Marvin Williams situation at the start of the season just gone. It was a tough call with Ricky, who originally wanted to keep his options open when we spoke to him in April, but he's another whose season was injury hit. We also wanted to bring in younger players in those wide positions as we are likely to have quite an experienced squad in other places. We haven't made a decision yet about Dan Wishart, while Damian Scannell has returned to Bromley after his loan, and we've decided not to go further with Louie Theophanous and Kieron Forbes after their loan spells at the end of the season.''



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