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News Round-up - June ‘22

 

Here is the news of players moves, and anything else that might have occurred in the Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division during June. As expected, as the season’s start nears the number of signings increases, although Hornchurch and Lewes seem to be keeping things close to their chest.

 

Aveley

Having signed two players from Bowers & Pitsea last month, Aveley have gone back to the Len Salmon Stadium to recruit defender Ben Steward, and they’ve also brought in midfielder Benas Vaivada from Margate and defender Emmanual Dasho from South East Division Sittingbourne, with defender/midfielder Garrett Kelly also confirming he has re-signed for the forthcoming season. Defender Rob Strachan has left ‘The Millers’ however, and signed for National League South, Welling United.

 

Billericay Town

In a recent interview, Manager Danny Brown said he was in discussion with several players and that he would make an announcement soon, and they have brought in five players as they attempt to get back into the National League South following last season’s relegation. Goalkeeper Harry Seaden moves in from crisis-club Derby County of EFL League One, defender Montel Agyemang has come in from Margate, midfielders Bradley Stevenson and Henry Burnett have signed from National League South Welling United and EFL League Two Crawley Town respectively, whilst winger John Ufuah has also come in from Margate.       

 

There have also been some outgoings announced, midfielders Bagasun Graham and Josh Wright have   joined Sittingbourne and Ebbsfleet United respectively, striker Niko Muir has joined Hungerford Town, whilst another striker, Femi Akinwande, has also left the New Lodge.

 

Bishop’s Stortford

Despite having the best defensive record in the Premier Division last season, ‘The Bishops’ have strengthened their back line by bringing in former Margate defender Jay Porter from National League South Braintree Town, and former Academy skipper Charlie Allum has re-signed for the 2022/23 season, although Johnville Renee has left the club. 

 

Bognor Regis Town

Three more players are poised to put pen to paper ahead of the new Isthmian League Premier Division campaign, as utility player Ethan Robb, midfielder Charlie Bell and young central defender Danny Howick have all agreed in principle to sign for ‘The Rocks’ for the 2022/23 season. They are also hoping to add Crawley Town goalkeeper Taylor Seymour, Dorking Wanderers left-back Joe Rabbetts, Met Police midfielder Sam De St Croix, and Worthing striker Tom Chalaye, although one player leaving the club is Joe Cook who has earned a move to National League Chesterfield.

 

Bowers & Pitsea

Goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney has signed for Horsham, and defender Ben Steward has become the third player from ‘Bowers’ to join newly promoted Aveley, whilst it has also been announced that midfielder James White has joined North Division Great Wakering Rovers, and Declan Nche and Pedro Banks have also left as new Manager James Collins continues his rebuild with the majority of last season’s squad having left. Although they’ve announced they’ve retained VJ Mendes, who broke into their side at the end of last season, as well as bringing in defenders Dexter Peter from Wingate & Finchley, plus Jamal Allen from North Division Tilbury, and Grays Athletic midfielder Freddie Moncur.

 

Brightlingsea Regent

‘The Rs’ have signed midfielder Ollie Sotoyinbo from SCEFL Premier Division Welling Town, winger Harrison Carnegie from Walthamstow of the Essex Senior League Premier Division, and strikers Mikey Solako from Stansted of the same Division, and Samuel Jeremiah who spent part of last season at North Division Basildon United. They have also retained a number of their squad from last season, last month it was mentioned that goalkeeper Charlie Turner has signed and he has now been joined by defenders Kane Gilbert, Chris Ribchester, Chris Gregan, Andy George and Jake Thompson, midfielders Charlie Durling, who won the club’s Supporters’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year awards last season, Zack Littlejohn, who is the club’s Young Player of the Year, Ollie Bell and Luke Skinner, plus winger Dom Locke and forward Connor Barnby. One player who has left though is Wyan Reid who has gone up to the National League South and joined newly promoted Cheshunt.

 

Canvey Island

Odei Martin Sorondo has agreed to remain with the club ahead of the 2022/23 season, having originally joined on a dual registration from National League South Concord Rangers in December 2021, whilst another to say he is going to stay is forward and ‘Player of the Year’ Evans Kouassi who was second in their goalscoring chart last season with an impressive thirty-one goals. They’ve also strengthened their defence, bringing in Reiss Chandler from National League Southend United where he played in the Under 18s and Under 23s as well as having a spell on loan at Bishop’s Stortford and  Aveley last season, and Teddy Perkins from National League South Tonbridge Angels. 

 

Having originally agreed to stay with the club, striker Matthew Price has had a change of mind and moved to North Division Brentwood Town, there is a sense of irony with this move as Price scored the winning penalty for ‘The Gulls’ in their Play-off Final shoot-out win against ‘The Blues’ which saw them win promotion at his new club’s expense. Midfielder Harrison Chatting has also left the club and signed for AFC Sudbury, also of the North Division.

 

Carshalton Athletic

At the end of last month, it was mentioned that full back Crossley Lema had left Margate, at the start of this month he signed for ‘The Robins’ along with defender Daryl Harrison, who has joined from Chertsey Town, who lost in last season’s South Central Division Play-off Final, and Metropolitan Police goalkeeper Liam Beach, who also lost in the Play-offs, this time in a Southern League Premier Division South Semi Final, plus midfielder Gus Sow who has joined from Kingstonian. New Manager Steve McKimm has also brought in another one of his former players in defender Arthur Lee, although he hasn’t played for Tonbridge Angels since October last year due to work commitments. The club have also announced that long serving midfielder Tommy Bradford and defender Paris Hamilton-Downes have both committed to the club for another season.

 

Six players leaving though are forward Lewis White who is trying his luck further up the ‘Pyramid’ at newly promoted Worthing, whilst defenders Abdul Aziz Sankoh, Ore Bello and Marc Gballou Lida have joined Merstham who now play in the South Central Division following their relegation, striker Dan Bassett who has signed for Cray Wanderers, and winger Dan Bennett has joined Kingstonian.   

 

Corinthian-Casuals

Not much news from King George’s Field, but defender Jack Strange has signed for former ground-sharers Kingstonian.

 

Cray Wanderers

Last month it was announced that midfielder Billy Crook had left Aveley, it transpires he has signed for ‘The Wands’ along with defender Harold Joseph from Enfield Town, midfielder Sam Skeffington who has signed from National League Bromley having been on loan last season, and striker Dan Bassett from Carshalton Athletic.

 

Goalkeeper Nathan Boamah has left the club and signed for South Central Division Sutton Common Rovers, whilst Kasim Aidoo has also left to join Premier Division rivals Potters Bar Town.

 

Enfield Town

All last season’s squad have been invited to attend pre-season training, but Jerry Gyebi and Manny Maja have both decided to try their luck higher up the ‘Pyramid’, whilst Harold Joseph has accepted an offer from Cray Wanderers.

 

At the recent League AGM, former Enfield Town Club Director Roger Reed was made a Life Member of the Isthmian League. This is an incredibly rare accolade and reflects the great service Roger has given to the League over the years, especially in assisting clubs including Invicta, with ground grading where his advice was invaluable. Congratulations Roger and best wishes for a long and happy retirement.   

 

Haringey Borough

Several players have re-signed for the 2022/23 season, including Scott Mitchell, Georgios Aresti, Jorge Djassi-Sambu, Sam Owusu, Stefanos Georgiou, Charne Lemba and Andre Odeku, and they’ve also brought in midfielder Johnny Ashman from relegated East Thurrock United. 

 

Hastings United

The club have received a huge boost when after many years of wrangling with their local Council, planning permission has finally been granted for their new ground, in what seems to be a change of heart as it was turned down as recently as March. Their planes will see sporting facilities built at Tilekiln Playing Fields, which will enable a housing development at The Pilot Field.

 

On the field, Tom Chalmers has agreed to stay with ‘The Us’ for the 2022/23 season, as has central defender Craig Stone who was named in the South East Division ‘Team of the Season’, Louis Brown, Captain Jack Dixon, Sam Hasler, Ben Pope, who was ‘The Us’ leading scorer last season, and Sam Adams, plus it has also been announced that they have signed winger Kai Brown from North Division Grays Athletic. For those of you that were wondering, Finn O’Mara signed a two-year contract when he joined from Invicta, so his registration was already in place. It has also been announced that defender Marcus Goldsmith has left the club and signed for Hythe Town.      

 

Herne Bay

‘The Bay’ have announced that midfielder Mike West has signed for the club, having previously been on loan from Ebbsfleet United towards the end of last season. Left back Jack Parter, winger Kieron Campbell, who not only scored the first goal in the South East Division Play-off Final at Ashford United but was also in the Divisional Team of the Season, and midfielder Eddie Allsopp have all agreed to re-sign for the 2022/23 season, and they’ve also brought in Frankie Morgan from Corinthian. However, on the other side of the coin, Bradley Schafer has signed for Faversham Town and midfielder Tyler Cox has joined Sutton Common Rovers.

 

Horsham

Another player who was mentioned last month as having left his club was former Carshalton Athletic defender Bobby Price who has now signed on at Horsham, having previously spent his entire career with ‘The Robins’ as he graduated through their Academy set-up. ‘The Hornets’ have also signed Bowers & Pitsea goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney following the unexpected departure of Sam Howes to National League Wealdstone, and striker Jack Mazzone from Met Police.

 

After over 800 games with five different clubs, Gary Charman was given a well-deserved testimonial when over 600 spectators saw current and former players of the ‘The Hornets’ and one of his former clubs, Bognor Regis Town, play out a 7-7 draw, with Charman scoring the final equaliser from the penalty spot.   

 

It has been announced that the Pitching In Isthmian League Charity Shield game between ‘The Hornets’ (League Cup winners) and Worthing (League Champions), will take place at Woodside Road on Tuesday 26th July. Originally it was scheduled for Saturday 6th August, but the National League have subsequently announced that will be the starting date for their League season.  

 

Kingstonian

There have been several managerial changes in the close season, but possibly the most surprising has come at Kingstonian where Hayden Bird has left the club after three years in charge, although ‘The Ks’ have acted swiftly and appointed Assistant Manager Lee O’Leary as Bird’s replacement. O’Leary was formerly in charge of Potters Bar Town until the start of this year, and he is a former Kingstonian player, having spent two seasons with the club from 2016-18. He, in turn, has appointed Spencer Knight as his assistant.

 

O’Leary has started making changes to their squad, bringing in defenders Louis Collins from Walton & Hersham where he was part of their side that won promotion to the South East Division last season, Jack Strange from Corinthian-Casuals, and winger Dan Bennett from Carshalton Athletic for what will be his third spell at the club. Meanwhile, last season’s ‘Player of the Year’ Nyren Clunis has left the club, as have wingers Jason Banton and Alex Addai, both of whom have joined Sittingbourne,  midfielder Gus Sow who has signed for Carshalton Athletic, plus midfielder Fabio Saraiva and Club Captain Simon Cooper who have both signed for South East Division ‘new boys’ Chatham Town.       

 

Margate

New manager Andy Drury continues to recruit at Hartsdown Park as he has brought in centre back Harry Hudson (not to be confused with the Sevenoaks Town Manager of the same name!), from National League South Tonbridge Angels and Adam Topley from North Division Heybridge Swifts, whilst Lewis Knight has also re-signed for the forthcoming season. Several ‘Gate’ players have also left, with midfielder Benas Vaivada becoming the latest, signing for Premier Division ‘new boys’ Aveley, whilst player/coach Reece Prestedge has also moved from Hartsdown Park, and John Ufuah and Montel Agyemang have joined Billericay Town.

 

Off the field, Margate have announced changes to their ground, funded by the Premier League Stadium Improvement Fund. The work to install Home and Away changing rooms, male and female Match Officials’ changing rooms and a kit room is scheduled to take five months, so although the improvements won't be ready for the start of the season, it is hoped they will be in use before Christmas.   

 

Potters Bar Town

Defender Calvin Dickson has re-signed for the 2022/23 season as has forward Corey Parchment, whilst ‘The Scholars’ have also brought in Kasim Aidoo from Cray Wanderers, Quintin Monville from Bowers & Pitsea, and defender Finlay Titchmarsh from Royston Town of the Southern League Southern Premier Central.  

 

Off the field, ‘The Scholars’ have announced that their ground will be named The Lantern Stadium, thanks to a new stadium sponsorship with Lantern Recovery Specialists, on an initial one-year deal with a view to extend beyond the upcoming campaign.

 

Wingate & Finchley

Defender Dexter Peter has joined the revolution at Bowers & Pitsea under new Manager James Collins.