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New signing and squad news

18 May 2017

Sutton United have  made their fourth addition to the squad ahead of the new season with Paul  Doswell confirming the signing of Aswad Thomas this afternoon. The 27-year-old defender becomes the third player to arrive at Sutton having been with Dover Athletic last season, joining Moses Emmanuel and Ross Lafayette in moving to U's from Dover's Crabble stadium. Aswad made over 50 appearances in his two years at Dover, having previously played over 100 games at National League level for Grimsby and Braintree in the previous three and a half seasons, also earning recognition for the England C side. He has also played for Woking after beginning his career with Charlton Athletic.Paul commented: "Ever since we sold Dan Wishart we haven't quite found the replacement who gives us the pace and ability to defend alongside Jamie Collins. We have been looking at three or four left backs over the last month or so,  and decided that Aswad filled those criteria and he became our main target. I remember him playing superbly for Woking and  at Grimsby where he developed into a key player for them. He's also been part of a successful Dover side over the last two seasons, and knows this league very well. With Ben Jefford suffering injury and illness, Nicky Bailey filled in the left back position brilliantly, but we felt we lacked another genuine left footed player in the squad  and this signing remedies that. With Ross and Moses signing this week, and Aswad knowing most of our players, it will help with the settling-in process for all three players."Aswad  met Ray Ward at Wembley Stadium (see above picture) today to sign and commented: "When I knew Sutton United were interested I was keen to listen and understand what role they had in mind for me. Seeing the other three players that have already signed last week, and knowing the quality  of players like Craig Eastmond, Nicky Bailey, Jamie Collins and Kieron Cadogan already there I was buzzing when Paul said he wanted me. It was an easy decision to make and I can't wait for the pre-season to start. Hopefully by the end of the season I can be back at Wembley again!"Paul went on to discuss the squad situation more generally. "We've done our business early and this has been planned since March, and I'm delighted to say we have genuinely secured the targets that were first on our list. However it does mean that some players will be finding new clubs and we will announce those departures in due course.We are still hopeful that Roarie Deacon will stay and we have had really positive conversations with him. He will only leave us if he gets the right opportunity, and we have a great relationship whereby we would also be delighted for him if the dream move comes along. We will know by early June one way or the other. Max Biamou has also attracted interest and it's a very similar situation to Roarie where we will know by early June whether Max is with us next season or not.As a Club we are proud of the interest shown in our team and have a clear policy to allow players to progress to league football or to secure a better financial offer for their family if the offer is right for all parties. We would love to keep both players, and our squad would be the strongest in my time here with the competition for a starting spot fierce, but the National League is very unforgiving and at times last season we were stretched too far with the size of squad we could afford.  With the FA Cup run it means we can increase the number of players in the squad, but an  important factor is that all the new signings fit into our current wage structure, and this has been achieved. All the players that have signed from Dover are on the same terms as they had last season,and with no transfer fees paid I feel we have secured excellent value for money.If Max or Roarie do move on,we won't be replacing them as Tommy Wright has signed  a new contract, and we have very high hopes for him after scoring over fifty goals for Salisbury during the season. We also look forward to Jeffrey Monakana and Bradley Hudson Odoi returning to the squad in July, and in both cases it will be like having new players following their long-term injuries. Bradley and Jeffrey are desperate to do well next season and are both working with Jamie Lawrence during May and June to help in their recovery. Bradley will be able to join in pre- season at the end of July, early August having had a successful operation on his torn Achilles. Ross Worner is also fully recovered from his injury and will be fit for Saturday July 1st when the team returns for pre-season training.''

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