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Matt makes double swoop

30 June 2023

Matt Gray has continued his summer transfer activity with a double swoop to sign midfielder Craig Clay (left) and winger Josh Coley(right).

31-year-old Craig joins us officially on July 1st after the expiry of his contract with Leyton Orient, for whom he made over 200 appearances in a six year stay. He made his Orient debut as a substitute in their 2-0 defeat at Sutton in August 2017, their first game following relegation from the Football League, and went on to feature in their National League success in 2019 and their League Two championship triumph last season. Born in Nottingham, he began his career with Chesterfield and has also played for York City, Halifax, Worksop, Grimsby Town, with whom he won promotion from the National League in 2016, and Motherwell.

Josh, who will be 25 next month, has joined us for an undisclosed fee from Exeter City. He spent his early career in non-league football in the South Midlands before joining Norwich City in 2018. After a loan spell with Dunfermline Athletic he signed for Maidenhead in 2020 and a year later made the step up to the Football League with Exeter. He was on loan with Harrogate for the first half of last season, impressing in their 2-1 defeat at the VBS in September.

Matt is pleased to have ended a busy week with two important signings, saying: ''Craig's an experienced professional who's won promotion twice with Orient and knows this level inside out, and will add really strong competition in the middle of the park. I'm delighted to have signed him, he'll bring great quality on and off the pitch and I'm looking forward to working with him.

Josh is someone who we've known for several years and has impressed against us for Maidenhead and Harrogate, and I'm excited to get him over the line. He deserved his move to Exeter and although it didn't quite work out for him there he's an exciting talent who puts full backs on the back foot and has pace, power and the energy we're looking for in the wide areas.''

Look out for interviews with all the recent signings, along with new first team coach Junior Lewis, in the coming days.

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